My thoughts (David Zier):
When a situation happens in life, do you ever ponder the ramifications, the motives of the people involved, and the potential outcomes as if this was reality, when reality just slips away? Kind of what a political pundit does on TV, choosing to analyze (and over-analyze) what someone says and does, telling the viewer what the person said and what it means all the while choosing to pull everything out of context to give it their own spin.
At a work meeting one day, we had to select the people to participate on a project. There were many people who were interested, but we could only select a handful. Everybody thought this was going to be the coolest project, so everyone wanted to be a part of it. One individual asked how we would prioritize the selection process. Another person indicated that performance reviews would be available for each person, and we could use that process to help select the project team. Someone from personnel was invited to the meeting to explain the evaluations and a process that has been used in the past for selection. As the discussion began, the person from personal wondered why I asked him to be there, and why I was so wound up about the selection process for the team. I thought, “Why is he acting as if I am questioning his integrity about performance reviews and job selection. We just want to do the right thing, and most people here have not done this before!”
I could smell the stench of my bones rotting! In verse 30 we are told, “a tranquil mind gives life to the flesh, but passion makes the bones rot.” Passion in this case I think means strong emotional passion that leads our minds away from peace; not productive passion that drives us to do what is right. This brings to mind Philippians 4:6-9:
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, 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.
Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
When reading the entire passages of today’s scripture beyond verse 30, we can see more of Paul’s message. Thinking on right things goes beyond thoughts, and leads to actions. What we think is what we become. How we treat others, how we dispel our anger, how we treat the poor can help us rid the stench in our lives and have more peace.
Thought for the day: How am I thinking? Is it stinking? What am I saying, and what am I praying? Is my mind tranquil?
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.