Can there be any benefit in filling our minds with beautiful thoughts? Some might counter that if we are struggling with difficult events in our life, which is true for so many of us, having the fortitude to control what enters our brain is out of reach.

My response is: consider your reflections or meditations as mental exercise in the same way you consider those activities you do to strengthen your physical body. Whether it be a particular sport, a fitness routine, or a daily walk/jog. Sometimes we are tempted to skip the customary work-out or whatever. But when we push through our momentary hesitancy and do what we know gives us a corporal sense of well-being, we are on our way to exerting control. Your mind can work the same way.

There is a Scripture from the Holy Bible which addresses beautiful thoughts. The apostle Paul in his ‘epistle’ or letter to the church he founded in Philippi says: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely [another way to say beautiful], whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you,” The Holy Bible, Philippians 4: 8-9 NIV (New International Version). Notice that Paul is telling us how to fix these attributes in our mind, so negative thoughts lose control. And that is by by turning positive thoughts into positive actions.

The “God of peace” about whom Paul is speaking is the God of the Jewish ‘shalom.’ It is not always an outward peace among people(s) but an inward peace which sustains us in challenging times.

Finding Beauty Series
#3 Creating Beautiful Thoughts
Connie Carlisle Polley, 2023

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