“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 ESV
God cares about what we think. In fact, He gives us a list of the types of things He wants us to think about. So, it makes sense that we can use this list as a filter for what we are thinking.
- True: God wants to make sure what we think about is true. So we must test our “truths” against God’s Word. We are told to “follow your heart,” but God wants us to follow Him. “Believe in yourself,” but God wants us to believe in Him.
- Honorable: If we cannot say it out loud in the middle of a church about a pastor’s wife, we should not dwell on it. Instead we need to focus on the things that bring glory and honor to God.
- Just: Are our thought fair? Or are we blowing a circumstance out of proportion because we are hurt? Or are we skewing the situation to make ourselves look good? We must ask God to help us think justly.
- Pure: Is there even a hint of nasty in our thoughts. Are we entertaining impure sexual fantasies? Are we focusing on gossip or slander?
- Lovely: Do my thoughts lighten the heart, encourage me to do kind things for others? Do my thoughts make it easier for me to rely on the Holy Spirit so I can please God?
- Commendable: Do my thoughts encourage me to help others? Do they increase my desire to draw closer to Jesus and please Him more?
- Excellent: Are my thoughts valuable to myself and others? Do they challenge me to live a holy life through the power of the Holy Spirit?
- Worthy of Praise: Would God, knowing our thoughts, say, “well done. I not only approve what you are thinking, but I applaud it?” If not, then we need to refocus our thoughts.
Sometimes our minds will run a bit wild, but we can be the boss of our thoughts. The key is to filter our thought focus through this verse.
May our thoughts bring glory and honor to God. May they encourage us to love God and others well. All for God’s glory and honor!