Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly calculating in our heads. We weigh risks and rewards. Action versus inaction. Transparency versus privacy. This all happens easily and usually without our noticing. And this is exactly why we need to periodically bring our attention to how we make or avoid decisions and do a little thought life self-audit.
Bank statements aren’t typically very exciting things, but they are important. The act of evaluating where our money goes both helps us to avoid overspending and to be proactive in channeling where our hard-earned cash ends up. These principles ring true throughout much of life. Stepping back to review our habits is not only good for our finances, it is also crucial for assessing the health of our minds and hearts. We need to take time to explore what is filling our heads. The Apostle Paul alludes to something like this in Philippians 4:8-9 which says,
“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
The word 'dwell' here is defined as, "...to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over." In essence, Paul wants the Philippians to be able to look back at their cerebral bank statement each month and see that they have spent their mental and emotional energy on true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, morally excellent, and praiseworthy things. Who wouldn't want that? But, of course, it's easier said than done. Meditation like this requires some serious practice. It's not surprising that Paul adds, “Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” Living this way is a lifelong learning process.
Meditating on good things is a worthy investment because it is an eternal one. These thoughts are the thoughts of God. They are gifts of grace paid for by the wages of Christ. Praise and loveliness and justice will last forever because they flow from a holy God who never changes. He doesn't just think them, he embodies them. Idolatry will cease. Hatred will be burn up. Corruption will go bankrupt. And God is faithful.
As Christians, we want to have the mind of Christ because we want to know him and not just know about him. We want to represent His kingdom and not our own. To do this, we must direct our hearts to who he is and not obsess over all that He is not. It doesn't mean that we aren't deeply grieved by this world. It simply means that death doesn't have mastery over us. A habitual dwelling on what is true helps us to speak more graciously and serve from the riches of God's grace instead from our tired and weary souls.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. - Philippians 4:4-5