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.

 

 

 

Advertisements

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

 

The thought strikes me that I could just stop right here and allow Paul’s words to speak for themselves, for he has come up with a great list of qualities to both look at and to desire for myself. If only my own heart and mind operated in this simple a manner; you know, just dwelling on truth and not getting distracted toward diverse thoughts and weak actions. However, I am a wanderer by nature, still traveling along the roads of life and my heart still stops at too many of the wrong places along that journey.

 

So many of the attractive diversions that pull my mind off God’s course have very little substance, they do nothing to sustain me for the travels, and they cause me to waste time and energy in the process. Yet, the bright, shiny object or the flashing lights catch my eye, and off I go. Some of the distractions that I indulge in are activities, some are attitudes, and some are ways of thinking. All of them are the result of losing clear heart-focus on Christ and on the reality of how He lives in and through me.

 

Therefore, God tells us to keep looking at these qualities of life which are His gift to us. He calls upon His children to seek those qualities in the people that we trust deeply, to desire to live so that people will describe us as possessing those qualities, and to guide others to their source. I can prepare for my daily life by taking the time to focus my mind and orient my heart toward the character of Christ; then I need to seek His will for me for this day; finally, as I proceed through this day, I must keep checking on and redirecting the focus of my too easily wandering mind. For, in fact, the shiniest and the most enticing of worldly pursuits is nothing but a shabby, mud-covered rag in comparison to the glory that is Christ and joy that is found in His righteousness.

 

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 need to 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.