Better than “BARF”

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

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A friend recently shared his interactions with someone who was “full of BARF” (Bitterness, Anger, Resentment, and Fear). The focus of thoughts offered here are not only better than such negatives, these thoughts will also shape our lives toward a better end. These describe a mindscape of god-honoring emotions, noble attributes, and things which enrich the mind. These are the beautiful decorations of a clean and noble mind. They are also spiritual, emotional,  and mental antioxidants working to rid our hearts of BARF.

There are those who practice deep meditation, employing a mantra – one simple thought, syllable, word, or quasi-verbal utterance meant to cleanse the mind and offer spiritual insight or peace of heart. These tend to focus on ones own inner being and encourage escape from the physical world around us.

These words, however, are not meant to transform us into people who are merely more spiritual aware, but to shape our prayers, and enable us to put our faith into action. Rather than withdrawing from the world, we are to embrace the example of others who are deeply involved in the lives of others here and now – though with an eternal perspective and impact.

As we clear out the clutter, garbage, and distractions from our minds, replacing them with thoughts of good, true, lovely and commendable things, we are promised the blessings of God’s peaceful presence. We are also better able to bring the love of Christ to people who God brings into our lives.

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