“AJ, COME HERE!!”
My son AJ turned and put down the rake. Sweaty and tired from his backyard landscaping project, the last thing he expected was to hear our beloved neighbor across the street calling him so harshly. “There must be something wrong,” he thought. And there it was again.
“AJ, COME HERE NOW!!!”
Bewildered, AJ sauntered across the street and saw Kim in her front yard, hands cupped aside her mouth, bellowing, “AJ, COME HERE!”
“Kim, is something wrong?”
Her eyes landed on AJ, and when she saw the expression on his face, Kim broke out in hysterical laughter, hands on knees, almost rolling over into the driveway. It was several minutes before she was able to compose herself enough to squeak out the story. She was dog-sitting, and AJ-the dog had run away down the street.
AJ-the son, greatly relieved that she was calling AJ-the dog, ran off to retrieve the missing pet.
There’s an important lesson we can glean from this light-hearted case of mistaken identity.
Often, we hear someone calling our name. We hear a familiar “voice” speaking harshly to us.
We “hear” that we’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough. The voice tells us we’re too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short. We hear that no one cares about us, or that we totally messed up, or that it’s just too hard, so give up.
And we entertain that voice, letting it entangle in our brains or pierce our hearts, mulling over these accusations as if they were true – but they’re not.
Referring to the devil, Jesus said, “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
When we hear these words of condemnation and criticism, we need to quickly recognize that they are not the voice of God who calls us with conviction and compassion. And then we need to combat them with truths of God’s Word – where He calls us His beloved, precious, chosen, child, friend, the apple of His eye!
When you hear those lies and accusations, won’t you choose to listen to the voice of truth? Philippians 4:8 says
“Finally, … sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
This is an instruction = “Think on these things” – not a suggestion or a wishful thinking = not “try to think…”
God would not instruct us to do something that is impossible. When you catch yourself drifting into false thoughts, lasso those thoughts – “take every thought captive.”
And the result of applying this Scripture to your thought life?
The verses before and after Phil. 4:8 tell us the peace of God will guard your heart and mind (v.7) and the God of peace will be with you(v.9). Your thoughts are surrounded by the bookends of peace!
” You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in You,
all whose thoughts are fixed on You!”