Updated: Nov 14
Lovely is defined as "very pleasant or enjoyable; delightful or exquisitely beautiful." So that means I can think about Zac Efron and Tim Tebow and my mind is thinking upon whatever is lovely right? Or rainbows and kittens? How about monster trunks and fast cars? Hmmmm, what about a waterfall or sunset? Oooo I have a good one, what about football? Clearly none of us have problem with allowing our minds to wonder off to any of these topics, so what's the point in continuing? I'm glad you asked. You see, there is a HUGE difference in allowing our minds to escape to things that we believe are lovely and replacing our negativity with subjects God believes are lovely. In order to fully understand what the actual meaning is, let's define the definition.
The first word in the definition is pleasant. It is defined as, "giving a sense of happy satisfaction or enjoyment." Out of all of the topics I listed, I can find fault with all of them to some degree. Therefore, within the situation they can bring happiness but cannot satisfy us entirely. The next word we face is enjoyable. The dictionary states, "(of an activity or occasion) giving delight or pleasure" Well we already found fault in pleasure but what about delight? It is defined as "great pleasure." As mentioned earlier, nothing is perfect and depending on the circumstance can be skewed. Since the first three words have very similar meanings, let's take a look at exquisite/beautiful. They are defined as follows, "extremely beautiful and, typically, delicate," and "pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically." Therefore, we must bring into our minds a topic that brings satisfaction, allows our senses to be happy, and something to which has extreme beauty.
Now let's take a look into what the Bible says is lovely. First off, it is stated in Philippians 4:8. It says, "Finally, brothers and 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." Since the word lovely is not found often in the Bible, how are we to know God's definition? Well, we just took an in depth look into the word. Therefore, let's refer back to our conclusion of the dictionary meaning: satisfaction, allow our senses to be happy, and something that has extreme beauty. Satisfaction can be found in Hebrews 13:5b which states, "be satisfied (content) in everything for God has said, "Never will I leave you, Never will I forsake you!" I have found this verse comforting as my life has not turned out at all what I planned or desired. However, until I can be satisfied in God alone He won't grant my desires because it will become an idle. Another great verse is found in Philippians 4. Paul states that no matter the circumstance he will be satisfied and victorious. Allowing our senses to be happy is a little harder to find in God's word. The first verse that came to mind was Jesus telling his disciples, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world," (John 16:33). Therefore, it is not that God will make our senses happy...but rather, God has given us peace which in turn brings joy. But it is all a CHOICE! The last conclusion is to replace negativity with extreme beauty. Considering God named His whole creation good, it also must be beautiful (Genesis). Therefore, looking outside your window and appreciating what God has made can be a great way to destroy negativity and replace it with loveliness. We must also recall that God thinks we are lovely. Therefore, reminding ourselves of such truths will continue our victory in the mind.
If you are wondering why I broke down my process more than normal, it is because I want you to see that studying the Bible is easy and intriguing. Many times the answer won't jump out at you; however, keep pursuing the verse or particular word. It will pay off eventually. And if it begins to extremely frustrate you, ask a friend! (or walk away and come back later) This week I would love to hear hear how you broke down scripture or a particular word in scripture and found the full meaning of it. Replacing our thoughts with words that do not have meaning is quite pointless.
Finally, I challenge you to continue choosing to live in victory by replacing negativity with that which is lovely. Enjoy the journey!