Finally, brothers, 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. Phil 4:8
As a family we want to Pursue and Demonstrate Excellence. The first step toward excellence is thinking the right thoughts – having the right attitude of the heart. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Prov 4:23). We know that we are accountable to God for the state of our hearts: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).
In daily life, there are times when I just don’t feel like giving 1oo% to a task. But last week’s memory verse reminds me that I must go beyond my feelings: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving (Col 3:23-24.) Choosing the right thoughts leads to the right attitude and helps me to approach my work in a way that pleases the LORD…but sometimes this can be a struggle!
There are hard tasks we grownups dread – like reorganizing the closet or confronting someone about a disagreement. For our kids, cleaning up a huge pile of toys can seem to be an insurmountable task – they can become overwhelmed. And sometimes we forget they are not little grownups.
Quick reminder. We must TEACH kids how to tackle a difficult task. Try this next time they need to clean up their room:
- Show them (or remind them) how to sort things and put them away, in an orderly fashion
- Check in on them periodically. Encouraging words are powerful – commend their progress
- Don’t wait too long to check in on them. Otherwise you may find they have wasted most of the time and this can be discouraging for both of you (better to correct a problem early!)
- Pitch in to help a bit – this can be a real morale booster
- Take a picture of the room (or bookshelf or closet) when it is done and save it for next time. You can remind them of what it looks like when they are “finished”. Sometimes they don’t “see” what we “see” when looking at a mess.
We tend to complain when we have mundane tasks to do – but looking at our tasks differently might help us enjoy them. I have two friends that amaze me. Kelly cleans house to relieve stress – wow – if I did that, stocks in Bluebell Ice Cream might plummet! And Cati actually cleans house for fun…WHAT??? Me – I enjoy the product more than the process of cleaning, that’s for sure.
But think about my two friends. They have decided to see their work as good for them – even pleasant. If we all decided to look at our tasks as beneficial rather than bothersome, we would be on the path to obeying the advice in today’s verse: Finally, brothers, 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 (Phil 4:8).
Reframing our thoughts in a more positive way, is HEARING and DOING Phil 4:8. Paul calls it putting his teaching into practice. And walking in this godly way comes with a promise – in the very next verse: What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Phil 4:9).
So, may all your dusting and toilet scrubbing bring to into a state of utter joy this week, and beyond! And if this doesn’t happen easily, commit today’s verse to memory and then repeat it when you need an attitude adjustment.
What helps me best is to remember that obedience to the Word is not an option. It is a Way of living. And the Way is kept in the little and big things, in the thoughts and in the deeds. And the Way must be demonstrated in order to pass it on to our children.
Britta ~ I am justAgirl..just like you!