…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 NRSV
Retreat to your quiet place and prepare your heart and mind to allow Scripture to speak to you as you continue on your journey to joy today.
This may be the most important single Scripture in Philippians. Today, read Philippians 4:8, 9 from your favorite translation of the Bible or from the epigraph printed at the top of the chapter, page 177.
Every translation uses different adjectives to describe these attributes. Think about each word’s meaning. Consider the synonyms, antonyms, all the forms of each word—noun, verb, adjective. Take inventory: How do you score? What is the key attribute you need today?
Read Chapter 25 of Reclaiming Joy. What parts of Ella’s story do you identify with? Do you get any ideas on how to improve your attitude, or is your attitude already great?
Ella writes on page 177, “I needed to dwell on these things, speak about these things, read books about these things, and watch movies and TV about these things. And I needed to associate with others who did the same.” Take inventory again: Do you habitually fill your mind and activities with people and things who lift you up or drag you down?
What are the triggers—Ella calls them sinkholes—that send you into bouts of depression, anxiety, grief or fear? Can you avoid them? If not, how can you prepare for and react to them?
Counselors and psychologists know that positive thinking is an antidote to depression, grief, even PTSD. What changes can you make in your lifestyle to promote more positive thinking?
Look at your friends and family. Who are the most positive people you know? Do you need to spend more time with them? Do you need to be more like them?
What is the lesson that you have learned today?
What can you do now to move toward joy? What do you need to let go of?
What three things are you thankful for today? What moments of joy have you experienced in the last 24 hours? Take time to say, Thank you, God, for…
For an introduction to these 28 meditations leading to Easter, please read The Journey to Easter Joy: Daily Meditations, Letting Scripture Speak.
© Ella Wall Prichard, 2019