“Concentrate on these things” (Philippians 4:8)
My wife and I have always had an abiding love for music. So, many years ago, we stretched our limited budget enough to buy a Bose sound system complete with “surround sound.” Much like today’s movie theaters, there are speakers in various places that allow us to feel like we’re right in the middle of the action. It’s great for TV, movies, and, of course, music.
In this past holiday season, we often found the “reason for the season” being buried by the surrounding flood of advertising, cranky shoppers, winter weather, seasonal decorating, lack of parking, and sadness over the recent loss of family members.
We sang “Joy to the World” in church to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But I wonder how many people actually felt joy during this blessed season. Or did the hustle and bustle of the holiday surround us and bury the joy we should be filled with. If we allow the potential negatives that this time (or any other time) can cause, we will never be filled with the joy that God intended for us. Instead we willed be filled with irritation, frustration and sadness.
But, if we surround ourselves with positive things, we will begin to feel that joy. Joy in the act of giving to others. Joy of celebrating with family and friends. Joy in encouraging those who need it. So concentrate on these things: that which is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Then you can have the joy of actually celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ (Philippians (4:8)