In my previous post (see “Think on These Things, Part 1”) we discussed the importance of what we allowed into our minds. I’d like to continue that discussion today. If you recall, we focused our attention on Philippians 4:8, which says, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” (HCSB). So what does this look like as we apply it in our daily lives?
- Truth – focusing on truth means focusing on Christ as all of His ways are right and trustworthy. When we feed our minds with the Word of God, our entire outlook changes. Our indifference towards others becomes compassion. Don’t worry about the people getting ahead by chasing the lies of Satan; keep yourself tuned into the truth found only in Jesus Christ.
- Honor and Justice – The modus operandi of the world around us is self promotion and scheming new ways to get ahead in life. We should set ourselves apart by determining to always keep our commitments and to put the needs of others before our own. It should be second nature for us to pursue justice and look after the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves (Isaiah 58:6-7).
- Purity – In James 1:27 we read that true religion means keeping ourselves pure and unstained by the world. We must avoid the temptations Satan throws at us daily. There are constant opportunities to lie, to cheat, and to lust or steal presented to us every single day. Whenever we are tempted to sin, we must remember how Christ was tempted (Matthew 4:1-11) yet never gave in. We must focus on His holiness and righteousness. This is the way that He expects us to live. James tells us if we run away from temptation, not towards it, we will be delivered from its clutches (James 4:7).
- Loveliness – For those of us who know Christ, there is no beauty like that of Jesus. He is humble, He serves all with unyielding passion and He cares nothing about your ethnicity or background. He sticks closer than any friend you’ve ever had, and He loves us with an immeasurable love regardless of our response. When we dwell on the beauty of Christ, our hearts melt and our problems fade away.
- Commendable – If we fill our minds with negative thoughts we will become negative people. If we allow ourselves to become news junkies we will read and see all the wickedness in our world and it will overtake our best efforts to be hopeful and loving people. We must limit our intake of all the evil around us and seek out those things that are worthy of our attention. Read and watch positive and uplifting stories that will inspire us with their message. Look for those living out the mission of Christ, those pursuing service in love towards others. Focus on what’s happening in the Kingdom, not on what’s going on in the world.
As we turn our gaze to that which is in line with the purpose and commands of Jesus, we will find our lives changed from the inside out. Inasmuch as we consume negative and sinful information, we will become negative and sinful people. By focusing on whatever is positive and true, we will develop a mind like Christ. Don’t let yourself be sucked into the downward spiral Satan wishes for you; don’t be consumed with the things of this world. Instead, focus on whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable; think on these things.