Develop this habit that will increase trust and joy in your life.
- Posted on Feb 22, 2021
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. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
My husband, Zane, and I participated in a small group to test content for a leadership book written by Christian neuroscientists about developing habits for increasing trust, joy, and engagement in the people you lead. Every week we met, we walked away with “aha” moments and habits to employ in our lives.
One habit I learned is to return my thoughts to something joyful when I feel conflict brewing. Science shows this helps my brain stay in a relational mode rather than jumping to an enemy mode. In marriage we all experience conflict—sometimes it’s a tiny thing and other times it’s a big blowup. The practice of pausing when I sense conflict and returning my thoughts to a joyful experience, such as remembering the fun bike ride we shared, helps me to stay relational. If I’m having difficulty thinking of a positive mutual experience because I’m angry, then I can turn my mind toward my relationship with Jesus. I remind myself who He says I am and His unwavering love for me. When I remember to value the relationship with my husband—more than my desire to be right—then I know the conflict will have a healthier outcome. When I train my mind to stay relational, then I can experience joy even in the midst of conflict.
Paul encourages us in Philippians to think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. This helps us stay in a constant relational mode, which ultimately results in life-giving relationships. Isn’t that what we all want?
Faith Step: Meditate daily on Philippians 4:8. Joy will follow.