Entertaining Thoughts

I love to entertain.  Even since I was a child, I get many of my kicks of day dreaming about the next soiree I can host.  I remember sitting on my bed as a little girl, trying to figure out how many people I could fit in my room for a New Year’s Eve Party.  There would be twinkle lights.  There would be finger foods.  There would be sparkling cider.  There would be music…big band music from the boom box.  And there would be a big count down to midnight as we all donned our new year’s hats and braced ourselves to shout, “Happy New Year!” as Auld Lang Syne began to play.  I don’t know how I thought I would fit a party’s worth of people into my small childhood bedroom for this occasion, but it was a smashing soiree in my head.  Nowadays, I have far more realistic dreams about entertaining.  I dig through my stash of decorations and also scavenge my house to determine what I can turn into a decoration. I open my cookbooks and plan my menu in great detail before making my grocery list.  I send out invitations and always request an RSVP so I will know just how to plan.  And of course, I browse through Pinterest to decide how to make each occasion magical.  But, the party is never a success in my eyes until it’s over and I’ve reflected upon my new memories of hosting people in my home.  Entertaining.  It requires a lot of thought, doesn’t it?

I latched onto a phrase this past Sunday that my Life Group teacher casually said: entertaining thoughts.   What does that mean exactly?

Well, it’s not much different than the parties that I host, now is it?

Thoughts are like guests in our minds.  They are either welcomed or they’re not.

My mind tends to race just before I go to bed or when I’m alone.  When I am alone with my thoughts, that’s when I entertain the most.

We’ve all got thoughts that we let run wild.

The path of imagination.  The pits of discouragement.  The isle of comparisons. The journey of dreams.  The oceans of doubt and second guessing our decisions.

Some of those thoughts are fabulous to entertain.  Others, are deadly.

Oh, boy.  I’m doing it right now.  My thoughts are racing because I am silent and introspective.  If I let these thoughts run free, they will bring me down and chain be to their untruths.  There I go…comparing myself…thinking about what leaves me excluded from something with a million reasons I’m conjuring up that leave me feeling…well, worthless.

But, as I write here, I get my lasso out and I capture those thoughts and filter them through a gateway that leads to truth.  And that sort of entertainment of thoughts becomes so much more beneficial than when I was letting those guests in my mind smash through the beautiful residence, which hosts the King of the Universe, King of my Heart.

How about you? Are you wining, dining, and giving guided tours to un-welcomed thoughts that are there to destroy you if you’re left alone with them?

I find comfort to know that I’m not the only one who struggles with this, but I also am put in my place after hearing the truth of God’s voice to my rampages of questions, bogus ideas, and unfiltered thoughts.

Job inspires me.  Not just because he endured abnormal amounts of trials and still praised God.  But because he had his freakouts.  Because I have freakouts sometimes too.  I don’t like that about myself because I often feel dense after my freakouts are over because typically, I’ve already learned the same lesson before but forgotten it because of my new circumstances.  Nonetheless, freakouts come when my thoughts begin to race.

But when I allow the guest thoughts in my mind to be captured by Christ, I realize that He races faster than my own racing thoughts.

I love God’s response to some of Job’s freakouts,

“Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm.  He said: Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer me.  Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.  Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38:1-7 NIV)

And oh, snap, God continues on for over TWO chapters ransacking, capturing, and ordering Job’s thoughts.

Job’s response is meek, humbled, and filtered,

“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.  You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.  There fore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:2-6 NIV)

There’s so much power available to us by the one who should be our most esteemed and welcomed guest.

We’ve been given the power for transformed and renewed minds.  We’ve been given the authority in our minds to capture our thoughts to the obedience of the one who made our minds.

So what sort of entertaining are you going to do today?  Are you going to let party crashers come in and wreck the beautifully adorned mind you possess? Or are you going to entertain thoughts that are true, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy?

You’ve got an instruction manual far more helpful than Emily Post’s etiquette book.  How about entertaining welcomed guests that compliment the guest of honor?

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV)


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