“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.” 5:16-22
Why is it so difficult to hold on to what is good? We tend to keep a death grip on bad attitudes, diets, advice, moments, relationships, thoughts or memories. I can rattle off half a dozen examples of something bad I’ve done, or that’s been done to me, and I bet you could too.
This is not the first time Paul advises this to the early Christians. In Romans 12:9, he instructs them “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.” He understands the human tendency and he’s urging us to shake off the negative stuff and cling to what is good, true and holy.
So, what is good?
Jesus is good. The things he says about our life together with him is good.
Healthy friendships. People that bring out the best in you, encourage you and coax you out of self-destruction are good.
Laughter and joy are good! It’s a mindless, lazy habit to complain and gripe. Crumble up that tendency and toss it into the fire.
Positive thinking is good. Overthinking is, ugh.
Today, filter your thoughts through this. Is something that you’re about to do, say or think beneficial to someone or something? Sink into it.
Is it discouraging or harmful to you? Stay away!