I hope your summer is turning out to be a time of reflection and quiet.

It’s not over yet, at least for those of us without children in school.

Somehow Paul’s letter to a small group attempting to establish a Christian church in Greece has survived all these years since 60 or so AD. He has some lessons on Christian thinking that are very potent for summer reflection.

Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayewr 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, 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, dwell on 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” (Philippians 4:4-9).

Now this passage is often used as a call to positive thinking. Don’t be deceived. That is not Christianity; it is psychology. The Greeks already knew a great deal about living true to their philosophies. But, this church plant, like us, needed to be given a living example by watching Paul living out the gospel—-always expecting unmerited favor,
always pressing on toward holy living,

always hoping that today might be the day of Jesus’s return.

My friend, mentor, and teacher, Leilou Brady, has been my living example of this kind of thinking. I’m a very slow learner, but she remains patient with me–saying and living it over and over again. Who is your living letter? Who are you showing the hope of the gospel?

Are you attempting to think positively—or do you have the spiritual experiences and hope of the gospel?

Keep thinking like a Christian. Quietly reflect. Dwell on, chew it over.

About Carol Brandt

I earned a B.A. in History from Florida State University and M.Ed in.Higher Education from Florida Atlantic University. I taught high school social studies before “retiring” to full-time homemaking and raising two daughters. Now I love being a grandmother to four boys and a girl. I have also raised five collies.

My husband, John, was an optometrist, who worked tirelessly for his profession through private practice and as a consultant, and served on the Board of Trustees of Illinois College of Optometry for twenty years.

Ernest Reisinger was my chief mentor in this warm-hearted application of Calvinism. He gave me many books! The Founders Journal and Founders Conferences, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Charles Spurgeon have been other sources of Reformed thinking as well as the other warm-hearted ones listed in my book, “Warm-hearted Calvinists.”

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