Writing Prompts: Your Thought Life

Part 1: Your Thoughts – Which Ones Focus on Excellence?

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“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”  (Philippians 4:8, NIV).

Such were Paul’s closing words in his letter to the Christ-followers at Philippi. He wanted them to understand how a rich, positive thought life would allow them to become more Christ-like.

Writing Prompt: As you examine your thoughts this week, record those that resemble the qualities Paul listed in Philippians 4:8.

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Part 2: Your Thoughts – Which Ones Stand in the Way of Excellence?

Paul cared deeply for the Philippians. That is one reason he provided guidelines for their thought life when he wrote, “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”  (Philippians 4:8, NIV).

Yet thoughts of excellence did not always come naturally to the Philippians … nor to us.

Writing Prompt: As you examine your thoughts this week, record those that prevent you from dwelling on the excellence in yourself, others, the world, and God.

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Part 3: True or False? How you identify which thoughts are true

Paul explained one way to identify God’s truth in our minds: recognize what thoughts are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).

Writing Prompt: As you examine your thoughts this week, challenge those which are opposite to the characteristics of truth.

  • Would God say they are true or untrue?

  • How do you determine which they are?

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Part 4: Thoughts Lead to Actions

In Philippians 4:8 Paul writes, “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” (NIV).

Christ-followers can intentionally choose a thought life that lines up with God’s approach – to “think about such things.”

Writing Prompt: How have you seen your thoughts lead to your actions this week? Complete this sentence: My thoughts about ___________ have led me to ____________.