Finally, brothers, 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.
I want to think about what is good----however, it's not easy in a world where so much is the opposite. But I don't want daily cares, things that seem overwhelming at the moment, but trivial in the grander scheme of things, to bog me down and waste my time. I don't want bitterness to creep in as I let hurt or angry thoughts replay in my head. I like to keep the 'chatter' of my thoughts positive.
Someday in my Eternal Home I will be able to truly do what is above, but for now when I am faced with things that are negative I want the stuff that bothers me to be because it's something worth focusing on, not because it's good (it's not), but because it needs to change.
There are lots of things worth focusing on and focus needs to be spread around so different issues are addressed, but obviously the one that is big in my world is trafficking and the sex trade. But even though this happens just up the road from where I live it's easy to stop thinking about it. That's just the way we are as humans. Our natural response is to protect ourselves, to make sure that things don't affect us, to just choose not to think about them.
I don't think that's what the verse above is saying, however. It's quite clear in other parts of The Book that we are to be lovingly concerned for others, that righteous anger is appropriate, and that it should motivate us to bring about change. To love those around us we have been given the task to be aware, to care, and to respond.
So when I go to sleep I need something to wake me up. Sometimes it's a book, a conversation, or even a YouTube video. Sometimes it comes in a random way and sometimes it's a choice to be informed.
I don't want to just be happy because I'm keeping my eyes shut. When it comes to the needs and hurts of the helpless and hopeless I want to be motivated. I want to stay bothered.