“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 niv
The devil works hard to get our mind into the wrong places. The Enemy aggressively wants and waits for us to give in to his attacks because he wants our feelings to force us into wrong actions when the truth is that God wants our right actions to change our minds into new feelings. All of us know that our mind is a battlefield of our life.
Last week we looked at Hebrews 10: 24 – “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.” This verse clearly stated that the subject of our thoughts is important. This week we have more clarity into how that subject is to be formulated.
I remember one of the first things I learned when I was taking a class on how to operate a computer was the acronym GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out). I think it applies to much more than just computer programming. I had a friend one time who put it this way, “Whatever is in the well comes up in the bucket.” The writer of Proverbs wrote “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7).
Paul sets our design for thinking out clearly and concisely by starting with the word true. Paul knew, as Jesus taught, that the Word of God is truth. When we think on what is True, we are basing our thoughts on the Word of God. As we think, meditate, contemplate, and act on the Word of God we will be directed in our words and deeds.
The next thing Paul says in our verse is that our thought should be based on what is honorable which means noble, dignified, and worthy of respect. In other words, there are some things in life that are unworthy of our attention and thoughts. Paul then moves us into a seamless thread of thought like this. Think about those things that are just pure lovely! Think of these words for what they actually say. Don’t look for the deeper theological meaning here, just accept them on face value.
Paul ties this tapestry together by declaring “whatever is commendable” (or of good repute), think on these things! He is imploring with us to think on the most excellent and lofty themes of God’s grace should be the subject of every believer’s thoughts. When we think rightly we will be able to speak more correctly.
Perhaps today we should utilize the THINK test before we speak:
T: is it TRUE?
H: is it HELPUL?
I: is it IMPORTANT?
N: is it NESESSARY?
K: is it KIND?