Sleepovers. Don’t you just love them? Put a bunch of hormone-crazed girls in a room, jack them up on sugar, deprive them of sleep, and then hope for the best. I remember one sleepover in particular from my childhood. The effects of it lasted weeks, if not months. But, I’ll get to that in a minute. Being a Christian woman isn’t easy. Life is hard. It is constantly presenting different circumstances that test our faith, some real, while others are just an attack on our emotions of what could happen. One moment we are fine, the next we are a worrying mess. I particularly find this scripture in Philippians 4:6-7 comforting during those moments.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
What assurance we have as children of the living God. He promises us His peace no matter what situation we go through. I have gone to this passage, time and time again, in the midst of trials and moments of fearfulness. We need to remember that God never promised that we wouldn’t pass through difficult waters, but He does promise to be with us through them and give us His peace.
For years, I would just reflect on this passage of scripture without reading it in its whole context. I thought I just had to pray, with a thankful heart, and God would protect my heart and mind from any fearful thoughts. That is, until I continued to read on in Philippians 4:8.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.”
The Word of God instructs us to keep our minds focused on uplifting things because what you feed your spirit affects your thought life! What you see, talk about, and listen to become what you think about. If it doesn’t meet the criteria from the scripture above, get rid of it. The scripture doesn’t say, whatever is full of fear, whatever is depressing, whatever is worrisome, whatever is gory – think on these things. No!
We need to protect our emotions and put a guard over our eyes and ears. Stop watching all those crime scene investigation programs full of horrific bloodshed or dramatic love stories where the young woman dies of some rare disease. That’s not entertaining or romantic! Those fear-filled images and depressing storylines create anxiety. They can invade your mind when you least expect it.
I learned this lesson back at that sleepover nearly thirty years ago. I left that party with more than just a goody bag full of candy. Some of the girls thought it would be fun to watch a horror movie. Although we only watched ten minutes before we turned it off out of sheer terror, it was enough to invade my thoughts and dreams for quite some time. It created a new level of fear in me for things that I didn’t even know could happen.
Ladies, it’s time to do some spiritual housekeeping. Examine your books, Facebook page, television shows, movies, music, and conversations. Make sure you aren’t inviting negative thoughts into your life. Let’s entertain ourselves only with things that are excellent or praiseworthy . . . and think about that!