Some very common words from Paul challenged my negativity into something beautiful.
I did not grow up in the Catholic tradition, rather I was raised Protestant.
But that doesn’t mean that I cannot appreciate the brilliance and effectiveness of the disciplines that the Roman Catholic Church offers.
One of those would be the Lectio Divina, the Divine Readings.
If you aren’t familiar with the Lectio Divina, it is a specific way of approaching the Scriptures.
Rather than bore you with the details, I would encourage you to look into it.
One part of Lectio Divina is reading the passage of Scripture over several times and then meditating on it.
While I was meditating on Philippians 4:8, the Spirit revealed this to me, and challenged me on my attitude, my attitude of negativity.
Here are a couple of different translations for your reading pleasure, all to help aid you in following my spirit’s thought pattern.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. – Phil. 4.8, The Message
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, exercise yourselves in these things. – Phil. 4.8, Jubilee Bible
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. – Phil. 4.8 NASB
While there are thousands of ways to interpret this portion of Scripture, while there are numerous ways of applying the principles that Paul was talking about, this is what was revealed to me after reading and meditating on it.
This is supposed to be a lifestyle.
This is how we should live.
This is our calling.
This is to be our Christianity.
Christianity should be a community of positive people.
Not positive for positivities’ sake.
We are not to ignore the bad or forget the evil that is so present in our world.
But rather we are to be making a mental and spiritual choice to fill ourselves with the things of God, the things of His glory, the things of His kingdom.
Paul invites us to a discipline of awesomeness, rather than a life of disappointment, a life seeing the roses, but not through colored glasses.
Paul invites us to see the world as God sees it, or as He originally desired it to be.
This challenged the negativity in me because it is not at all a beautiful thing. Negativity is not a lovely or honorable thing.
Rather than wallowing in the problems and conflicts in the world, a Christian should be teeming with positivity.
A positive attitude found in the great things of God, the beautiful things of His world, it is this kind of attitude that I should be carrying within myself.
And not just carrying it, but fostering it, exercising it. A lifestyle of looking for the great and wonderful things is something that I should daily be striving towards.
As a mere human living in a sin filled world, it is not easy to do this. But this is what God calls us, calls me to.
That is what the Spirit revealed to me.
The question is this.
What has the Spirit revealed to you?
What do you see when you read these verses?
Let me know in the comment section below.