"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8
I am a hopeless romantic at heart. I love fairytales, both Disney and not, about far off places and a princess who is rescued by her true love. I am a daydreamer. It is easier than it should be for me to leave the present and to input myself into these stories. When I allow my imagination to run away with what could be, sometimes I allow my convictions to run away with it.
As the verse in Philippians tells us to think about things that are ‘lovely’, ‘pure’, ‘true’, and ‘honorable’, I do admit that, at FIRST, that is what my thoughts consist of. There is nothing ‘impure’ about a prince rescuing a damsel in distress, but thoughts of impurity come about pretty quickly when I think about what happens after the rescuing: intimate moments that the prince and damsel might share. When it goes too far, conviction hits hard and I shake my head to try to clear my thoughts. “How did that happen?” I ask myself.
It’s not always fairytales that I daydream about. I meet a guy and see him worship the Lord (pure) and think about how great we would serve the Lord together (pure) and then I think about how we would end up together and such (impure). Again the “How did I get here?” thought is the next thought that I have. I feel even more convicted because the person that I just had lustful thoughts about is a real person and not a fairytale character. A person, who I might have to face again, feeling guilty that I have had those thoughts about him.
So where is the line? Where is the line between pure and impure thoughts? Honorable and dishonorable thoughts? Lovely and unlovely thoughts? Thoughts that are pleasing to the Lord and thoughts that are not pleasing to the Lord? In order for my fairytale daydreams to be pure, the prince is allowed to rescue the princess, but he’s only allowed to bow and kiss her on the hand?! That seems a little unrealistic. And that is the main issue.
We have compromised ‘pure’ thoughts to be based on the reality of our time, which they were never meant to be based on. They were meant to be based on the Lord. The Lord is not limited to our reality, and neither are the commandments in the Bible. Our culture changes constantly, even on the issue of purity, but the Lord and His standards remain constant through the test of time. So what do ‘pure’ thoughts look like? And how do we keep our minds ‘pure’?
The answer, just like it is to most important questions, is Jesus. Jesus knew that we would struggle with impure thoughts that Satan throws at us. The forgiveness and covering of His blood is the only thing that can free your mind from these thoughts. We can absolutely be proactive ourselves and guard our minds by avoiding certain movies and shows that have intimate scenes so that the enemy cannot bring those images back into our mind at unexpected moments. But we are also not alone. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised us the gift of the Holy Spirit, which was fulfilled on the day of pentecost. Although there is no condemnation for the children of God, there certainly is conviction. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict us of when our thoughts have gone too far and are not pure and honoring and it is our job as Christians to yield to the Holy Spirit’s guiding, repent of our thoughts, and do better.
When those quiet moments in your day come and you have the choice to daydream, think about Him. For when your thoughts are focused on Christ, a more true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and excellent thought never did exist. He is the Prince of Peace for your restless mind and He loves you more than Prince Charming EVER COULD.