And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. - Philippians 4:8
Paul names eight “gatekeepers” that should stand in the gateway of our thinking.
First, as our mind is fed information, we should ask ourselves, “Is it true?” God’s own truth can be our measure.
Then we should inquire, “Is it honorable?” Does the thing I hear have a noble ring to it? Is the action I am being asked to take respectable?
Next we need to determine, “Is it right?” Is it just and fair? We can search the Gospels and see if Jesus addressed the issue. What did he say was right?
When we consider what we watch on television or at the movies or what we read, we should inquire, “Is this pure and lovely?” Will this data I am feeding into my mind result in godly love and beautiful actions? What’s more, we need to ask, “Is it admirable?” Is what I am thinking about praiseworthy and well reputed? Does it sound attractive or appealing?
Finally, we must consider, are we thinking what is “excellent and worthy of praise”? I’m sure many of us would have difficulty labeling most of our thought life as excellent. We should hold our thoughts above the world’s thoughts. Reach for a star; don’t settle for mediocrity.
If we would all determine to allow only that which calls down the approval of God into our thought patterns, then we would be well on the way to experiencing continual peace of mind. So if you value the approval of God, Paul concludes, “fix your thoughts on” these things.
For Further Study: Philippians 4:8-23
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit TellingtheTruth.org.