I have been taking a leaf out of Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book (sorry couldn’t resist that pun): “Switch on your Brain” and used a mind map to do a 21 day meditation on a single thought.
In this case the thought is Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable; if there is any excellence or anything praiseworthy; think on these things.
In the mind map above I have taken the 8 words from the original New Testament Greek, transliterated them into English and put them in boxes around the central theme of the verse. Then I have taken the most common translations of the Greek words and listed them against each box. The words in a different colour (e.g. “true”) are the ones used most often, or, in some cases, exclusively by the main English translations (NIV, KJV, NKJV, NLT, NASB, ESV, NRSV).
I have also been spending quite a bit of time adding to the branches the things that are actually true, honourable, right, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praiseworthy. It is quite amazing the amount of things that fall under those categories once you start to expand on them. There are numerous elements to God, family, church, the bible, work, creation, music, books, films, etc. that fit into each category. In other words, there are plenty of good things to think about.
Caroline’s basic thesis is that mind is over matter. More specifically she says that thoughts are manifested in our brains as actual matter. They grow on brain nerve endings like fruit on trees. If we spend 21 days thinking on the same thing, that will turn it into a solid ripe piece of brain fruit that can modify your behaviour. Like it says in Romans 12:2: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
She advises that you hear what the Spirit is saying to you about a toxic thought to replace and what to replace it with. Her book is well worth a read and implementation.