Ponder a verb meaning think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.
Many times, especially when I’m not at my best mentally because I am hurting and broken, I make poor decisions and reach wrong conclusions based on faulty information. How we think about ourself and our circumstances and what we think about our past, present and future can greatly impact not only our attitude but also our actions.
Our spirit can ponder on the things that our soul (mind, will and emotions) is focused on or we can ponder on the things of God.
At night I remember my music; I meditate in my heart, and my spirit ponders. Psalms 77:6CSB
Instead, his delight is in the Lord ’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. Psalms 1:2 CSB
This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Joshua 1:8 CSB
So how do we change what we are pondering and meditating on?
Philippians 4:8 gives us a few things to check our thoughts against.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
When you ponder this, is it true? Does it line up with what God’s Word says? If it doesn’t, stop the thoughts, you will reach the wrong decision and conclusion if it is not true.
When you ponder this, is it noble? Will it lead you to a decision that is honorable, and self respecting in conduct? If not, what would it take for you to be able to walk in self-respect with the decision you will make?
When you ponder this, is it just? Are you being judgmental? Will the decision or conclusion you may line up with God’s will? If not how can you turn your thoughts towards God’s will in the situation?
When you ponder this, is it pure? Are you looking for fault? Are your thoughts clean? If not, how can you reframe what you are thinking about to fine the pure and clean?
When you ponder this, is it lovely? Would the decision or conclusion you would come to with your line of thoughts be acceptable and pleasing in God’s sight? If not how can you adjust your thoughts to make them lovely?
When you ponder this, is it of good report? If you needed to share your thoughts, would they be of good report? Would you want someone to say the same things about you? Are you offering good will in your thoughts? If not, how can you adjust your thoughts to line up with truth but also offering good will?
When you ponder this, is it of virtue? Are your thoughts morally good? If not, how might you turn your thoughts around to give it a sense of excellence?
When you are pondering this, is it praiseworthy? Would your thoughts cause someone else to give praise to the situation or person? If not, how can you change your thoughts?
There are times that the things that flow through our mind will not meet any of the criteria above. The key is to take those thoughts captive and stop pondering on thoughts that do not meet the criteria above. Replace those thoughts with something from God’s Word that will meet the above criteria.
When we make decisions or draw conclusions on things that we should not be pondering, we stand to made poor choices. Instead we should let our decisions and conclusions be based on the Word of God and the criteria of what He tells us to meditate on if we can not find a specific Word that directs us.
This blog post is inspired by Anita Ojeda and the #Write28Days Challenge. The challenge is to write 28 days in February. For more posts on this topic go to Broken Vessel.