4 Always be joyful in the Lord! I’ll say it again: Be joyful! 5 Let everyone know how considerate you are. The Lord is near. 6 Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. 7 Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable. 9 Practice what you’ve learned and received from me, what you heard and saw me do. Then the God who gives this peace will be with you.–Phil. 3:4-9 (God’s Word)
Over the past few days we have been looking at how we should act as Christians. We have looked at what God expects of us. Now, we need to practice those things daily and they will bring joy to our hearts. We will be able to rejoice and praise God in any situation. Not because of the situation but because we are learning that He will be there with us and carry us through every situation. Praying and giving thanks will keep us from worrying because we will have the peace of God in our lives. We must focus on the things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, and commendable. We must be diligent in our practice because it is so easy to stop if we are not consistent in our habits.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient.[b] 7 These are the ways you also once followed, when you were living that life.[c] 8 But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive[d] language from your mouth. Colossians 3:5-8 (NRSV)
Since our actions are controlled by our thought patterns, the only way to get rid of these actions is to get rid of the thoughts and ideas. Jesus said that thinking these things is as sinful as doing them. The world bombards us daily with wrong thinking; illicit sex is okay, partying all night is ok, mistreating others for your own good is okay. Not true! We have to change our ways and to accomplish that requires a change of attitude and habits. Those kind of changes only come when we allow God’s Holy Spirit to lead us. We need to practice “right” thinking.