RUMINATING on pH 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 (Philippians 4:8).
We are what we “think,” i.e., we are the sum total of our thoughts. This means that you and I will actually become the product of our thinking. “Whatever” it is that captivates our minds will control our lives. And “whatever” it is we think about will not only define our character but determine our destiny.
And so, let’s do some ruminating together as we respond to an inspired appeal to “think” about the kinds of things that are “excellent” (i.e., virtuous, exuding with absolute moral goodness) and “praiseworthy” (i.e., worth formally approving and offering commendation).
∙ “Whatever is true” – If we “think” about whatever is “true,” i.e., what is real and trustworthy, then we fact check so that we can be set free from the crafty attempts of misleading, sensationalized, and exaggerated jargon that intends to capture us in its dark web of deception.
∙ “Whatever is noble” – If we “think” about whatever is “noble,” i.e., deserving of honor, respect, and, even reverence, then we reject the meanness, ugliness, and hatefulness of disrespectful judgments and uncharitable actions.
∙ “Whatever is right” – If we “think” about whatever is “right,” i.e., righteous, just, and fair, then we walk in the way of God’s righteous actions by pursuing justice and loving mercy in our interactions with our neighbors as we walk humbly with God.
∙ “Whatever is pure” – If we “think” about whatever is “pure,” i.e., holy, wholesome, and kosher, then we are ridding ourselves of malice and deceit, and, instead, clothing ourselves with the compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience of Christ.
∙ “Whatever is lovely” – If we “think” about whatever is “lovely,” i.e., winsome, delightful, and highly pleasing, then we are consumed by God’s charming beauty as we experience God’s love for the world and embrace the truth that “we have been blessed to be a blessing.”
∙ “Whatever is admirable” – If we “think” about whatever is “admirable,” i.e., gracious, commendable, and deserving respect, then we avoid all the wasted debates, foolish conversations, and empty rhetoric that revolve around lesser things.
As we ruminate about the “whatever” of what we choose to think about today, let us acknowledge that “whatever” it is that captivates our minds will control our lives. So, let us choose wisely so that our character might be shaped by thinking on the kinds of things that are “excellent” and “praiseworthy.” In doing so, our destiny with Christ will be secure. Amen.
The Lord be with you,
Dr. Wyatt E Fenno
Pastor, First Christian Church of Allen