“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)
It’s a wonderful verse packed with encouragement and sound advice. What we think about makes a difference. Our thoughts shape our attitude of ourselves and of others. We might say that our thoughts have significant bearing on our attitudes toward God and His Word. Today look at only one of the eight suggestions the Apostle gave us. Honor or honorable. Honor is a virtue and it is often included in the motto for schools, clubs, fraternities, and social clubs. What does it mean? Let us submit that the person who is honorable is one who behaves with dignity. When used of a person’s character in the Bible the word is translated “dignified” (1 Timothy 2:2; 3:8; 3:11, Titus 2:2). Faith believers are to show honor to others. Today it’s more about what we spend contemplating or pondering. We may think we don’t have time but we do. We each have the very same amount and not every minute is dedicated to our responsibilities. We can choose what we think about. Paul says to spend some of that thinking time and ponder things we know are honorable. And as a result, strive to show honor in our words and actions.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:8 (NASB)
The letter Paul the Apostle wrote to his Christian brothers and sisters in Philippi is so chock-full of promises and encouraging instruction. Today’s verse is a good one to memorize or post on a note card where we can see it daily. Our minds are under attack daily – even hourly by the devil who is seeking to destroy and rob us of our joy. We have read more than once that we are to rejoice always. Today we read how fill our minds with good things and think our way to rejoicing.
- True is found in God, in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, and in God’s Word*.
- Honorable “worthy of respect.” We meditate on whatever is worthy of awe and adoration, as opposed to the profane.
- Right means is to think in harmony with God’s divine standard of holiness.
- Pure is that which is morally clean and undefiled.
- Lovely “pleasing” or “amiable.” Believers are to focus on whatever is kind or gracious.
- Of good repute, that which is highly regarded or thought well of and reputable in the world, such as kindness, courtesy, and respect for others.
We thus avoid the GIGO† in our manner of thoughts.
* 2 Timothy 2:25; Ephesians 4:20-21; John 16:13; John 17:17
† Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO), What goes into a process will be seen in what comes out. While the term is most frequently used in the context of software development, GIGO can also be used to refer to any decision-making systems or choices where failure to make the best decisions or choices results in unintended and unpleasant consequences.