Philippians 4:8-9 – Pure Thinking

Read Philippians 4:8-9

yellow rose in a sunlight beam

We have been privy to all of Paul’s great wisdom shared with his friends and fellow believers in Philippi. I think we all fall short of this last nugget of truth. All we have to do is look at what we’re thinking. What are we putting into our heads each day?

Thankfully, reading the Bible is one of those sources that satisfies Paul’s list. “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” But what happens when we pick up a newspaper, read blogs online, or watch our news in video format? What about our choice of entertainment, including movies, TV shows, video games, etc. I’m not certain much of that is pure and lovely!

Have you ever stopped and taken the time to do an inventory of the messages you’re digesting every day? I think it’s wise of Paul to call attention to this. Even in his day, the evil one was crafty and at work to deceive the faithful ones. Messages that appear honorable may be quite the opposite when disguised by Satan.

I can sniff out that deception in most marketing these days. Having spent the past five years learning all I could about entrepreneurship and marketing, I am no longer blind to the tactics used and patterns followed to move the consumer (us) toward a decision. Why is it that truth has to be “hyped up” to make it more appealing?

Are we getting to be oblivious to the shock factors being used all around us? What are we filling our minds with? Biblical truth or sensational news headlines? What do Paul’s words mean for you? He says to think about things that are “excellent and worthy of praise.” What things fall into those categories for you?

Now that we have a “litmus test” of sorts for judging such messages, we can be more discerning about what we spend our precious time consuming. Are the voices we listen to uplifting and helpful, or do they corrupt and inspire fear? We have a choice.

It’s going to take a lot of practice to break old habits and ready our minds to look for “true” and “right” ways of thinking. We should take the time necessary to practice each day, watching for clues from how our faithful friend, Paul, acted and encouraged others to act. We can also look to those personally leading us on our faith journey.

Keep in mind that someone else may be looking to you for your lead in keeping his/her mind focused on the excellent things of God. Pray for wisdom and peace to be a light in this dark world.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray … Lord, help me to focus on only those things which are lovely and pure. May I keep my eyes on you and your steadfast love. May I rely on your faithfulness in each promise as I journey through this life. Help me to discern right from wrong and strive for excellence to reflect you in all I say and do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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