I'm a big fan of Beth Moore. On her website she has challenged her readers to memorize scripture. I've tried memorizing scripture before but unfortunately I don't really stick with it. When it comes to a point in conversation where scripture is relevant I usually say something like "there's a verse that says something like this, somewhere." Not particularly useful. I'm trying two things differently this time. I'm moving slower. Beth's plan is to memorize a new verse on the 1st and 15th of each month (while continuing to work on the previous verses). Just two verses a month, easy! I just type it in my handy app and I go through the verses each day. I'm also working through passages of scripture instead of plucking random verses out of context. My first passage of scripture is Philippians 4:4-9 which I started at the beginning of the year. For those of you that are good at math, that means I'm on verse 8, and I'll finish up this passage this month! Philippians 4:8 says:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. NASB
This idea of "dwelling" means to meditate on. Now, we normally don't like that word because it sounds too "new-agey." It really just means to reflect on something. I like the definition, "to consider as something to be done." Not only are you thinking about those good things, but you're thinking about doing them. It's a pretty logical conclusion that thoughts lead to actions (whether good or bad). If this is the case, don't we want to be filling our minds with the good things. Renewing our minds even:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 NASB
When we try to change a bad habit, we have to replace it with a good habit. It's the same with our thoughts. We have to train our brains in that way. When I catch myself thinking something negative, I try to think of something positive instead. Scripture is a positive thing to fill our minds (hence the scripture memory plan). When I think of something that would hurt someone's feeling if I said it out loud, I should think of something encouraging instead. Sometimes we're surprised when words we think come out of our mouths as well. Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to worry about hurting someone because we've banished all those mean thoughts away. "Dwell on these things." As a good place to start, the most positive thing we can think about is the cross. Talk about turning something horrible into something good.