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, let your mind dwell on these things.

Philippians 4: 8


Paul sets forth one very important word for me in this verse, and it isn’t one of the more obvious ones, either. It’s that little word, let. For God has given us all the ability to determine where our minds will become focused and on what sorts of thinking they will dwell. In fact, this is the choice that can make the greatest difference in how well I function through my day.


My underlying emotions are not always in my control, and my circumstances certainly can be dictated by others. There is also little that I can do about the way that other people are feeling and behaving; still, my reaction to it all is something that God says that I can profoundly influence. As I make the decision to fill my mind with God’s truth and allow His character to influence my thinking, I take control of the way that I function in my life.


The other key word in Paul’s statement is dwell. I can select the house of the Lord as the residence for my mind. I am easily distracted, too readily knocked off course, and continually wandering into the bad part of town. However, God has established a safe and a completely equipped permanent home for me in His Word. He also surrounds me with living examples of His grace and love in the people of my spiritual family. This is where I need to turn my attention, and this is where my heart and my mind will be filled with all that is useful and joyous. It is here in Christ’s presence that my mind can rest in His righteousness and be filled with His knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.