“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8
Paul instructs the Philippian Christians to focus their thoughts on whatever that accords to the verse. He says, in the next verse, the God of Peace will be with them if they practice what they observe Paul doing.
The world presents us with captivating images and sounds that pollute our minds. Pornography is an example for it appears in books, movies, YouTube videos, etc. that draw us to grow attached to these idols. We indulge in these pornographic visuals because it meets our sexual desires. The water image represents purity for it is uncontaminated. Our minds should be the same. Reading the Bible, praying, and connecting with fellow Christians are ways to maintain purity, which, in turn, keeps us connected with God. Otherwise, our minds become filled with negative, dirty thoughts and attitudes.
The Bible contains verses that address purity or maintaining pure thoughts:
“2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2
“21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. 22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” 2 Timothy 2:21-22
This specific verse speaks to me at this time in my life because I desire to live with a pure heart, mind, soul, and spirit, but life presents things that distract me from pursuing God wholeheartedly. Timothy uses the word “utensil” in the preceding sentence to describe how some utensils are made of gold and silver (used for special occasions) whereas others are made of wood and clay (used for everyday use). Which utensil am I to God–cheap or expensive? I wonder.
“15 Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.” Titus 1:15-16
Last week, I watched an episode of InTouch with Charles Stanley. He delivered a sermon titled “Taking Control of Our Thoughts.” He provided ways to control our thoughts. Among them was seeking those things above; meaning set our minds on God’s thoughts. We must concentrate on His thoughts to avoid secular thinking. After all, we have the mind of Christ! Dr. Stanley reminds us we died to our former life to pursue God. He highlighted that the Word of Christ dwells richly in us, as cited in Colossians 3:16.
It’s easy to relish a visual that appeals to our sexual drives. Adrianne Lewis’ long tongue attest that point. It’s easy to see her tongue as a sexual object, but the way it is viewed depends on one’s thought patterns and relationship with God. Our relationship with God dictates our perception of what the media portrays and the way we consume it, including the extent we use it. Adrianne’s story was meant to demonstrate how we have control of our tongues (literally and figuratively), not for sexual gratification (though I understand how it is or can be perceived as such.)