“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Wise Solomon affirmed that we should keep our hearts with all diligence for out of it come all the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23) Sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing are the conductors of information about our environment to the brain. Upon arriving to the brain, the information related is formed into thoughts. The quality of the information determines the quality of the thoughts. Thoughts are the origins of actions.
“. . . as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). We haven’t always the dominion over what happens around us, but we may determine what to think. We chose the subject of our thoughts. “For of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). The subject of our conversation, our attitudes and decisions of life are results of our thoughts. As we contemplate a rose in a garden, we may choose to see the beauty of the flower or feel the pain from the thorns.
On a certain occasion I went to the registry office to notarize a document, and while in line awaiting my turn, I observed the notary who was sitting behind a table signing various documents. He was giving out orders, and the employees readily obeyed. But I became irritated because to me he seemed quite arrogant; even objects that were just a few inches away, he’d call an employee to fetch it for him. While observing the scene I thought of how disagreeable it would be to work under a man of such arrogant mien. Someone ought to teach him how to be a boss!
The more time passed, the more irritated I became. Then the notary announced to his colleagues that he would be taking his lunch break now. As he backed up from the table I noticed: he had no legs; he was in a wheelchair.
I became so ashamed for having mentally criticized him, and I thought of how much injustice we commit when we think ill towards people around us—when we judge them. An inspired thought tells us that, “We should endeavour to think well of all men, especially our brethren, until compelled to think otherwise.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 58).
We must guard our minds, not permit negative thoughts to form, and must think only on what is good, and just, and lovely. In other words, ponder good thoughts. By pondering the good, our actions will be positive. Thinking about Jesus, of how He acted, how He treated other people, our attitudes will be like His. Ponder that.