“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
There is nothing as thought-consuming as an illness you have to deal with twenty-four hours a day. It makes it hard to think about anything else. And oftentimes those thoughts can end up being the main topic of our conversation.
Matthew 12:34 says “for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Sometimes friends and family tire of only hearing about an illness. People aren’t as long-suffering as the Lord is.
Obviously, you can’t just forget about your illness or pain, but you can fill your heart with other things that will come out in conversations. Joyful things. Things of God. Pleasures of life that you can still enjoy.
The more you do this, the less you concentrate on your afflictions. And the more joyful your conversations will become.
How about lovely things? You can still appreciate the lovely things God has created. In my case, it would be seeing goldfinches on the feeder. A sunset or a rainbow is a lovely thing.
Something else that can be lovely is music. Music is a powerful way to improve our mood. Just as in 1 Samuel, chapter 16, Saul was plagued by an evil spirit that put him in a really bad mood. But when David played his harp for him, that mood, or “spirit” left Saul.
Music can revitalize us, calm us, distract us from unpleasantness, bring to mind pleasant memories, and evoke positive emotions.
We especially need encouragement every day, and there are many good Christian programs that can be obtained on the internet which tell of admirable people and things that are noble, right , and pure.
If you take time to dwell on the things mentioned in this verse, you may find you will have more joy in your heart, and that joy will be reflected in your life., improving your topic of conversations.
Prayer: Father, I don’t want my illness to consume my thoughts. Help me to find things in life that are true, noble, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy to replace the unpleasant thoughts I have. Give me joy that I can give to others. Amen.
About the author:
Julie Buckley was diagnosed with mixed connective tissue disease in 1995 (scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and polymyositis) along with fibromyalgia. She lives in the midwest with her husband and has a grown son. She also has a blog site called “Healthy Souls,” which encourages Christians to grow stronger through their physical weakness, http://jabuckle.wordpress.com/
From where you are right now can you name things around you that are lovely and praiseworthy?
This is Sanctus Real singing “Pray.” I know there are times when I say too much to people about my illness. And I have been known to sweetly give a rundown of the last 6 months in 60 seconds or less of my painful struggles when I feel like they are belittling my pain. (Um, yeah, I know… confession time!) The truth is when we are saying too much to others, it’s because we aren’t talking to God enough.” This is a great song by Sanctus Real about one of the many reason we need to pray! -Lisa