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
One of the principles I share frequently with my clients is the idea of going toward the good rather than trying to avoid the bad. What do I mean by this? I think it is energy draining to try to avoid bad habits and behaviors. It is MUCH more energizing and life-giving to strive toward a goal that we want- a positive place.
I use the example of trying to run away from a dog that is chasing you. Eventually, we get tired of running away. The motivator is fear, and that works for a while, but it literally drains our energy. However, if we are striving toward a positive goal, we find ways to motivate ourselves toward the goal. We build in incentives and rewards, and we get encouragement from others with whom we have shared our goals. In short, we actually can get energized as we strive for a goal.
In situations with couples, I talk with them about not simply trying to avoid arguments, but actually finding ways to build one another up in little steps throughout the day or week. By concentrating on a positive behavior, they are automatically avoiding the troublesome behaviors that they do not like.
I remind people that they need to spend most of their time looking through the windshield, not constantly checking the rear-view mirror. Yes, we need to periodically need to check the mirror, but we need to keep our eyes on the road ahead the vast majority of the time.
So, let’s remember the word from Philippians-
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.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the good words from Paul that contain such wisdom, Amen