Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
(Philippians 4:8 ESV)
In the previous verses God has taught us that worrying is destructive and gets us nowhere. As someone once said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Worry weakens us. It stops us from making progress.
God does not want His adopted children to be weak. He wants us to live strong, victorious, joyful lives. The way we do that is to fill our mind with (i.e. meditate on) certain things.
Its interesting to note that worry is also meditation. It is just meditation on the wrong things. We have the ability to control our minds. We can think about what we choose to think about. Here God tells us what we should be thinking about.
First and foremost, we should fill our minds with truth. It all starts with truth. If we don’t know the truth, nothing we think about will be of any benefit to us.
We should also think about things that are “honorable” and “just”, not things that are corrupt, immoral, or dishonest. We should not be scheming or plotting against other people. We should be thinking of ways to bring godly justice into people’s lives.
We are to think about things that are “pure”. Our minds should not be controlled by impure thoughts, especially sexually impure thoughts. We should not be lusting or telling crude jokes or looking at pornography. These thoughts damage us.
Its well known that our thoughts eventually become our actions. If we have negative thoughts our behavior will be mostly negative. If we think about things that are “lovely”, “commendable”, and “excellent” our behavior will be likewise.
Its important to note that God is not advocating the power of positive thinking here. God is not saying we can create our own reality. God has already created reality. He is simply telling us how He designed our minds to work within that reality. When we don’t let worry or lies or negative thoughts enter our heads we are living life as God designed it to be lived.
All the words in this verse describe our God. We need to stop thinking about what could go wrong (i.e. worrying) and instead align our thoughts with God’s.
Rather than letting our minds be controlled by the sin that is in this world, as non-believers do, we should be thinking about heavenly things. Believers are citizens of heaven [Philippians 3:20]. As such, our thoughts should be fixated there.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.
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