Day 10 - December 12, 2017

Living Like Jesus: A Meditation on Thoughts

“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

These last ten months have been quite a blur in my life. I graduated college but life seemed to be at a standstill for me. My entire college career I had two goals on my mind; graduate college and make a living overseas. When I graduated I had only accomplished one goal, the getting my degree part. I had exhausted all of my energy and resources into mapping my life to the smallest detail. I found myself, with only a few months before graduation, still doing interviews like I was in my sophomore or junior year. I ended up being devastated and was in a form of depression.

I desired to live a life of adventure straight out of college and was highly distraught when life slapped me in the face. I had my degree but was to some extent on the path to giving up on my dreams. I ended up finding a job at an amazing bank with the opportunity to live closer to my family. You think I would be happy; but deep down, I was unappreciative and conflicted with a host of negative thoughts. These negative thoughts led to me eventually questioning my faith in God. I was not the man I desired to be and because of my thought process things slowly started to fall apart internally for me. I ended up losing a lot more than I had to before I realized, I was the problem; my life was only a reflection of my inner thoughts.

I’ve shared this part of my life in order to highlight the ordeal of a man who has not been living like Jesus. I believe one of the ways that differentiated Jesus, who like us daily faced temptation, problems, and inner conflictions, was his control over his thoughts. Jesus did not make decisions based off of what he saw currently occurring in his life. He lived in a way that depicted his inner world; Jesus was at peace as his thoughts were at peace. 

Paul gave us an idea of what thoughts Jesus must have consciously and unconsciously manifested on a daily basis in the closing chapter of his letter to the Philippians; “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). 

Today, I am living like Jesus with more blessings than I could have imagined. Perhaps you are wondering what changed? I recognized that faith matters, most importantly, in your daily thought life. Faith in anything starts within. It is crucial that we seek to live everyday with positive thoughts; they create perceptions which in turn create our realities. I recognized that my thoughts were inhibiting me from recognizing I was not living by faith. A great starting place for anyone ready to live like Jesus is by focusing your energy on consistently manifesting the thoughts Paul has recommended. From them, faith will come. Accept your negative thoughts but do not let them overwhelm you. Instead, live life like Jesus, with thoughts turned toward him and his way of thinking. 

In this advent season, Lord grant that we might turn our thoughts to you and think, pray and act as your Son taught us.
 
submitted by Kwasi Porter-Hill

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