In Philippians 4:8, the apostle Paul instructs us to think about things that are true, honorable, pure, just, lovely, commendable, worthy of praise, and of moral excellence. What are you thinking about? Does it match up well with the list Paul gave us above? If it does, you are doing better than I am. If we’re being honest, most of the thoughts we have are about ourselves: our comfort, pleasure, entertainment, and safety. These are hardly noble thoughts.
To be self-serving is the opposite of behaving honorably. Selfishness stands in direct opposition to every item on that list. Selfishness is the natural offshoot of pride, and prideful people have no place in the Kingdom of God. Consider where all the prideful angels are today. Their fall is a warning beacon for each of us.
In our modern age, thinking about things that are true seems to become more difficult every day if we find our truth in the words of media or the hypotheses of scientists. So-called “facts” are reversed every day and sometimes even by the hour. It’s virtually impossible to know who to believe anymore. But God never changes. He is the source of all truth. If we want to think about things that are true, we need only keep our thoughts focused on Him. Whatever God says is true. There’s no need to look anywhere else; if you want the truth, go to Jesus.
To think about things that are pure and of moral excellence, God is our only choice. The moral decline of the country in which I live, and around the world, has happened because God’s people have not taken a stand against the things God detests. Instead, we let our enjoyment of those things impede our holiness and now we face a tragic moral crisis of epic proportions. God creates each of us in His image. Each knows right from wrong. Not all choose to differentiate between the two, and even more push aside the voice inside compelling them to do what is right in the sight of God. But still we all know what is morally right in the eyes of God, and we all suffer the consequences of a world that chooses not to care.
I long to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:3-5) and to only think of the things Paul instructed us to think about. My deepest desire is to spend every moment of the day thinking of God. I want to be in continual prayer and constantly pursuing Him. What if we spent every waking moment asking, “How can I build God’s Kingdom right now?” What a glorious way to live!
So, what are you thinking about? Are your thoughts more honorable to your Creator or yourself? What you think about will manifest in the way you live. If we desire to live for Christ, then we must consume our thoughts with His beauty and glory. If we will spend our lives thinking of God, it will keep us from pride and selfishness and guarantee our thoughts are on that which is true, honorable, pure, just, lovely, and commendable. What are you thinking about?