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Thinking on lovely things

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Murder is a common subject these days. Just last week, killings occurred in El Paso and in Dayton. And if we don’t want to read about recent murders, we can just turn on the television and watch shows such as “Snapped.”

Murder is even a frequent topic in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. I’m currently plowing through the book of 1 Kings. Chapter 15, verses 8-11 say, “In the 26th year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha became king over Israel…Now his servant Zimri…conspired against him…And Zimri went in… and killed him…Then it came to pass, when (Zimri) began to reign…that he killed all the household of Baasha.”

Sigh. As I mentioned last week, I’m even writing a murder mystery. What can I do to get away from all this killing and cruelty?

The New Testament gives us the following guidelines: “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” (Philippians 4:8).

What’s special about these words is they were written by the Apostle Paul when he was in prison. He could have spent his imprisonment in anger, dwelling on his mistreatment, but instead he spent his time writing letters to churches not only in Philippi, but also in Ephesus and Colosse. He was concerned about their Christian faith and walk, so he reminded them of Christian principles.

The New Testament contains many pure, noble, just and lovely messages, so we can turn to it when we want to be encouraged.

We can also turn to other uplifting books. For example, I’m currently reading one of Alexander McCall Smith’s ladies’ detective novels. It’s not an explicit Christian series, but its stories are about decent people doing and thinking decent things.

And another idea: We can avoid earthly politics. No kings are being murdered, but mud is certainly being slung!

Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife.

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