Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me�everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
The apostle implores us to fix our thoughts on those things which are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. We are to put aside negative and unrighteous thoughts and instead think about what is worthy of praise. We are to put these good thoughts into practice that we may always be at peace with God.
The movie A Beautiful Mind traces the life of genius mathematician and Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash, Jr. (played by Russell Crowe), who is tortured by paranoid schizophrenia.
Nash was a genius mathematician studying at Princeton, seeking to discover a truly original idea. He explained his concept of equilibrium in his 1950 dissertation, Noncooperative Games, which eventually earned him the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics. Long before this, while a student at Princeton, Nash began to experience paranoid schizophrenia. Several delusional characters left him unable to discern reality from hallucination.
His paranoia climaxed while Nash worked as a professor in the early 1950s at M.I.T.'s Wheeler Defense Labs. Nash was recruited to decipher Soviet codes for the U.S. government, but following his initial experiences with code breaking, he descended into a delusional world where he continued to work for government agent William Parcher (Ed Harris).
During this time, Nash's wife, Alicia (played by Jennifer Connelly), admitted him to an institution that diagnosed and treated his disease. After shock therapy and medications left him unable to think through math problems, care for his young son, or be intimate with his wife, Nash determined to get off the medications and reason his way through his severe mental illness. His determination to overcome his illness led him to re-establish his relationship with Princeton and eventually to resume teaching.
In 1994 Thomas King (Austin Pendleton) from the Nobel Committee met with Nash to assess his mental state and determine if he would be a suitable Nobel laureate. In their conversation, Nash says to King tongue in cheek, "I am crazy." Then more soberly, "I take the newer medications, but I still see things that are not here. I just choose not to acknowledge them. Like a diet of the mind, I just choose not to indulge certain appetites." [A Beautiful Mind (Dreamworks, 2001), rated PG-13, directed by Ron Howard, written by Akiva Goldsman; submitted by Todd Dugard, Ontario, Canada]
I love the words Nash used, �I still see things that are not here. I just choose not to acknowledge them. Like a diet of the mind, I just choose not to indulge certain appetites.� As Christians our minds are flooded by many thoughts from the world. Some are healthy for us, while others are intent on destroying us. Like Nash we must choose what to indulge in and what to avoid. We should keep our thoughts on what the apostle describes above as true, right, pure, love and admirable and avoid the evil thoughts that attempt to cloud our minds.