Philippians 4:8 (The Message)
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
While speaking with a friend last night, I realized once again (since I've known this person for years), that they have carried a weight of thinking and fearing for the worst in their lives. As we talked I came to relearn that at a young age she had endured great pain through the loss of a parent and then later the tragic death of her aunt and uncle that she had been very close to.
What dawned on me was that she has carried this fear of loss and tragedy all of her life and had never walked through a process of healing from these wounds. Someone said long ago that we will either live from our wounds or live from the Word (of God) and after 44 years of life, 21 years of marriage, 9 children, the loss of a son and my father I find this statement entirely true. While we can't control every thought that makes it's way into our minds we certainly control the ones that we park on.
This has application with our spouses and friends. No doubt there are negative areas in these relationships, but most of them cannot be cured by our relentless study and rehearsing of them. "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." I personally don't encourage those around me nearly enough, but once in a while a I wake up and when I do I always feel a warm breeze in my heart.
I highly endorse the 4:8 Project!