Transforming Negative Internal Chatter into Lovely Thoughts

bible reading challenge day 205

For the last few weeks on Whimsical Wednesdays linkup day, we’ve discussed negative internal chatter and what Paul has placed on the “to-think” list in Phil. 4:8 in order to replace negative thought cycles.

This week when I read additional translations of the verse, the New Living translation stood out in my mind as it begins the list with the phrase: Fix your thoughts on… The command of the verse with the ‘understood you’ gives me hope that Paul knew this needed to be a command, because it wasn’t going to be an easy task, but one that would require focus.

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As we continue our discussion on ridding ourselves of ugly negative internal chatter this week, our focus word from Phil.4:8 this week is very transforming in power:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (emphasis mine)

Though in the last year or so, I’ve rarely watched television, one of my favorite types of shows to watch are those where trash is turned into treasure.

You know, Grandma has this ugly ol’ piece of furniture that’s been tucked up in the attic for years and her granddaughter, Susie, wants to repair it, sand it down, and stain it.   Before the show is over, this incredible transformation has occurred. The ugly duckling furniture now appears as a beautiful showpiece.

When Paul chose the word “lovely” in this New Testament verse, he didn’t know one thing about the English language.  The original Greek word he used has been translated to mean “acceptable” or “pleasing” in the English language.

The Greek word Paul used is “prosphiles” and I find it so interesting that this is the one time this word is used in the entire Bible. When broken down, the word is “pros” means ‘toward‘ and the word “phileos” means ‘to love.’

(Side note, sorry: Why do I suddenly feel like watching the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? moving along…)

But really, Paul, we should be thinking thoughts that move us proactively to love others? That’s kind of tough, isn’t it?

I believe we touched on this the first week in the negative internal chatter discussion, but truly I feel that Paul is telling us…

if we will think of others, in love, our selfish negative internal chatter will cease. 

if we will think thoughts that move us toward love, the downward spiral of “me” thoughts will vanish.

if we will think in the direction of love, we won’t be thinking in the direction of hate.

if we will think lovely thoughts, the negative internal chatter will be unable to catch up because

lovely thoughts move us towards lovely actions.

What do you think about Paul’s use of the word “lovely?” Would you leave a comment with your thoughts?

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Bloggers, love to have you linking up today! Each week I try to give a shout-out and share a couple posts on my social media networks, so join in. It would be really cool if you’d visit the blog linked up before you and give them a shout-out too!

I’m so excited to be heading to Proverbs 31 Ministries to speak at the She Speaks conference this week! If you could pray over the time there, I’d appreciate that so much. Be sure to follow conference news on Twitter via the hashtag #shespeaks13 and follow me at @rachelwojo .

Fab giveaway coming up tomorrow- see you then!

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Week 1: How to Stop Negative Internal Chatter

Week 2: Replacing Negative Internal Chatter with Thoughts of Truth

Week 3: Honorable Thoughts to Replace Negative Inside Chatter

Week 4: Replacing Internal Negative Chatter with Justice

Week 5: Replacing Negative Internal Chatter with Pure Thoughts



 

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15 Comments

  1. Rachel, your posts have had a phenomenal effect on what I am thinking when I am not in agreement with certain situations…I am praying daily for strength and have committed my last few moments alone in my car before work to remind myself that negative internal chatter distracts me from positive Godly conversation! And now I will focus on lovely thoughts! God bless!

  2. I have a friend who says she has a *committee in her head* – I know what she means. However, most of the time my committee is ruled by a chairman who is out of control, and who allows all sorts of negative thinkers to pull up a chair and yak.

    So, I really appreciated your thoughts in this post. I especially enjoyed the new insight I got into the word lovely. I guess I always thought that it meant like pretty things, or nice things. But, to think of it in the context of LOVING…so powerful.

    May God give us all the strength to FIX our minds on something other than our selves!

    GOD BLESS!

    1. Bless you. Sharon! I love that your website takes your name literally. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  3. God is love, and any thoughts from His Word are lovely! Thanks for the great post & for hosting & God bless!

  4. This is such an important part of squashing my negative internal chatter–to focus on love and on loving others as Christ loves them. It’s so simple and yet so profound and practical, Rachel. Thanks for the reminder to love even when it’s tough–no, especially when it’s tough–with the love of Christ!

    1. “Especially when it’s tough”- so good, Beth. Isn’t that when both we and others need it the most? 🙂

  5. Heather P says:

    I think Paul includes “lovely” because not all of the things in his world or our world are lovely. All of God’s holiness and good thoughts toward us are lovely. I am really enjoying this topic, because this one area where I have been working on lately!

  6. Thank you for your blog posts on negative internal chatter. It has allowed for some deep reflection on my part. I had an “aha” moment this morning when I focused on the words “trash to treasure” and discovered that for me the majority of my trash is the self-doubt that creeps into my thoughts. The negative shows up many times as “you aren’t good enough, or you really can’t do that” and it continues in that direction. I have found that my battle rages until I choose the “lovely”. I need armor and weapons to fight off this chatter and I have found that posting verses or inspirational quotes on my bathroom mirror is helping me. God’s word and truths must seep into my very being to move forward in this battle. One of my favorite verses is the following: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13, 14 NIV)
    I pray for all today to receive the love of God and to let Him fight the fight for us.

    1. So good, Mary. Thank you for your awesome words! God’s word is true- you are made wonderfully by Him! Appreciate your comment tremendously.

  7. Yes, “lovely thoughts move us toward lovely actions.”

  8. I love the reminder that we need to be transforming our negative chatter…God is so great that he gives us timeless truths that shoot us right in the heart so many years after they are written. I have found lately that when I focus on the negative chatter (I wish my husband would…., Why can’t my kids…, If only I…) it is a downward spiral to discontentment. But I can turn that around by choosing to focus on thankfulness. Focusing on the things I love about my husband, the amazing ways my little one is learning and growing, and the blessings in my life does wonders for the spirit. And that is a lovely thought. 🙂

  9. I really appreciate that you included the Greek roots; they so often add depth to my understanding of a phrase or text. 🙂 I also find it interesting that the “toward” prefix is inlcuded. It tells me that if we’re supposed to constantly be thinking in a way that moves us toward love, we’ll never get to the place where we’ve arrived. It’s a continual work in progress, a steady growth in Christ-likeness.

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