“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” -Philippians 4:8-9
Last year people spent $1.9 billion on apps to keep their brains sharp. Over the last several years the popularity in “brain exercises” has skyrocketed. Fears of cognitive decline and dementia have, in part, fueled this recent surge.
We want to stay sharp. We fear forgetting ourselves.
In his closing remarks to the church in Philippi, the Apostle Paul calls on them to focus. Through Paul, the Spirit of God calls us to train our mind on holiness. And it is training. It’s hard work to hold onto the noble, gracious, and compelling. Studies have shown that we easily gravitate to negative thoughts. So if thinking about what is honorable and just feels difficult, the first step might be, simply, cutting yourself some slack.
Gratitude journals, prayer beads, charm bracelets, morning devotions, etc. there are a number of tools to help remind us of the beauty and holiness in our world. And all of it could become a refuge to rest our mind for a minute.
Could it be possible that reflecting on what is true, honorable, just, and commendable; could keep our minds just as dexterous as Sudoku, Brain Age, and crossword puzzles?
Whatever the case, the bonus of Paul’s brain game is that it comes with a promise.
“Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Bain exercises that come with peace of mind? Yes please.