Sunday, April 5, 2015

Transcript for Friday April 3rd's Class "Philippians 4:8"

This is the class transcript for our meeting on Friday, April 3rd.  The transcript talks about the points that we made and the order in which we talked about them.  The questions that were asked of the class are also here.  This class is based on the entry called "Thinking About What We Focus On."

This class is based on one of my favorite verses in the Bible.  It is a powerful verse that has improved my life greatly.  

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

Does anyone know what the verse means?

  • The verse means to think about things that are good
  • Thinking about things that make you feel good keep you happy.  
  • Thinking about things that are bad make you feel bad.

What are some examples of things that make you feel bad?

Ideas:  Death, sickness, fights with people you have known, a bad job you had, bad financial situation, future events (possible loss of job; possible divorce; things that we are not quite sure about), past events (job lost, person who made you angry, ex boyfriend or girlfriend).

It is best to not dwell on these things.  To
dwell in this way means to focus on something for a very long time.  They are either in the past and done with, and can not be changed, or they could happen in the future but may not happen.  It is best to not worry about them today.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

What then should you think about?

Good things

What are some things that you think about that make you feel good?

Ideas:  Nature, hobbies, friends, pets, family, God, health, blessings, food, some possible future events, or plans and goals.

Do you notice a difference in how you feel when you think of bad things and when you think of good things?

What we watch and listen to also influences how we feel.  Influence means tells us to do something or make our mind feel something.  This could also be said as the things we watch, the things we listen to, the things we see, they all can make our minds feel a certain way.

There are a lot of things that may make a person feel bad.  Watching certain movies may affect how you feel.  Everyone is different, and some people react differently to different types of media.  For example, I do not like horror movies. 

Are there any things that make you feel bad that you sometimes feel that you should have not paid attention to?

There is another saying that I think of often, and it is “by beholding we become changed.”

Does anyone know what this means?  

To behold means to hold something or to be a part of something.  It can mean to watch something, to do something, to spend time with something, to hold it in your hand.  To hold it in your mind, even.  When we hold something in our mind in this way we become like the thing we hold.  

For example, when we spend a lot of time thinking about something or doing something, we begin to integrate that into ourselves.  Integrate means to make it a part of us.  So, we make our actions and passions a part of us.

I have found throughout my own life that it is important to try to keep a mind that is healthy and in order to keep a healthy mind I must be careful what I think about, what I do, and how I spend my time. 

For example, there are many places on the internet where people are negative and hateful.  I have found that when I read such things I start thinking about what they said.  I sometimes rethink about what they say and I dwell on it, or think about it, for a very long time.  It becomes a part of me when I think of that.

Another example is spending time with certain people.  I found that some of the people I spent time with had bad habits.  Maybe they ate a certain way or thought a certain way.  Maybe they always talked about other people in a bad way.  I would start to think like them after a while.  I would start to talk like them, eat like them, and even live like them in some respects.  I found that I had to start guarding myself from that.  I found that it was best to avoid some people if I did not want to become like them.

Sometimes a certain person has a weakness that you may have.  For example, if you are trying to not drink alcohol because you have had a problem with it in the past and you start hanging out with a person who drinks alcohol and always wants to party, get drunk, or drink, chances are you are going to become like them.  This is not always the case, but it happens quite often and presents a type of danger to us.  The more time you spend in such company, the higher the odds are that you will do the actions that they do.

So, we want to focus on that which is pure. That which is good.  That which is just.  They are all words that mean good.  In the Biblical context, they mean the kind of things that God likes. 

The better our minds are, the better our lives are.  When we do things that make us feel good, things that are healthy, things that are truly good, we become better people.  We think clearer, are stronger both mentally and physically, and live more vibrant lives.  The cost of focusing on bad things is very high.  

How can we ignore the bad things when they hurt us so much?  Here are some things that work for us and have helped us a lot in life:

(These are things that you can do when you are upset to get bad thoughts and feelings out of your mind.  Replace the bad thoughts and feelings with good thoughts and feelings).

  •  Tell ourselves they are in the past or that they will not last forever.
  • Tell ourselves that they are not powerful enough to control our lives.
  • We can pray about it and give the problems to God to solve.
  • We can make goals and begin to change our lives day by day.
  • We can focus on the present.  One thing we can tell ourselves is that “right now everything is alright.”
  • When we think of something negative we can say “no, I will not dwell on that.”  Instead, think of something that is positive.
  • If really angry or upset, do something you love.  Exercise, read, study, go for a walk, hold your pet, hold your child, think about the good things that you have in your life.  “Count your blessings.”  Take as cold as a shower as you can stand.  You will probably stop thinking about the bad things if you focus on this task. 
  • Talk about your thoughts with a friend or family member.  But try not to dwell on the bad.  Focus on how you can get rid of the thoughts and change how you think.
  • Think about the past and the good things we have done.  Things that make us happy.  Look at old pictures of places we have been, time with family, our daughter when she was young.
  • Listen to your favorite music. 
  • Make fun plans for a future weekend or day (some time not too far in the future).

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