I’ve been traveling a lot this summer. While I love visiting new destinations, sometimes I dread the whole security process at the airport. Standing in lines and being herded like cattle can feel like such an inconvenience. I miss the days when I could just walk to the gate and board a plane. It’s easy to complain, but I understand why we have such extreme security measures.
Those who travel by airplane know the drill. First my ID gets looked at when I’m checking in and dropping off luggage, which will also be screened. I’m asked for ID again at security along with my boarding pass. They need to verify that my name matches the ticket and make sure I have a right to be there. Then my carry-on and my shoes get scanned to confirm that everything with me is also acceptable on board the flight. I have to take my laptop out of its case so it can be carefully scrutinized as well. I walk through the detector and undoubtedly a security guard will feel the ponytail holder in my hair afterward to make sure I’m not hiding anything there.
It’s too bad we are more often concerned with screening what is allowed on a plane than we are with paying attention to what we allow into our minds. What if we stopped thoughts and screened them to make sure they should be pondered at all?
2 Corinthians 10:5 talks about taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. Isn’t that a great image? Capturing thoughts and screening them before we allow them to stay in our minds. What’s your name, thought? Negativity? Worry? Discouragement? Rejection? Jealousy? Prejudice? Doubt? Pride? Fear? Do you have a boarding pass? If not, you are not allowed in. Picture a “mental detector” instead of a metal detector, alerting you to the presence of harmful or worthless thoughts.
The Good News translation of Philippians 4:8 says to “fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and honorable.”
It’s not easy to have pleasant reflections and then just hope everything gets better. Recalling things for which you are thankful can help turn thoughts around. For example, instead of dwelling on the fact that it cost $800 to fix a major electrical problem, I was glad that the electrician just happened to be coming to our exact neighborhood and could fit us in within 30 minutes of my call, that he discovered the problem before a fire started and that he was able to do the repairs immediately.
Building up faith is an ongoing process. I often need reminders of God’s promises when my mind wants to allow something it shouldn’t. Here are just a few verses that can hopefully encourage you to think good thoughts, too!
• I am greatly loved by God (Ephesians 2:4).
• I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
• I can have peace (Philippians 4:7).
• I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).
• I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
• I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:7).
• I am redeemed (Galatians 3:13).
• I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me (Romans 8:37).
• I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).
• I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20).
• I can be filled with joy and peace as I trust God and I can overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
• Lisa Jisa and her family have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.