Think on These Things
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 New International Version
As humans, we think a lot. According to Google sources, a person can have as many as 6200 thoughts a day. Our brains process these thoughts with lightning speed and don’t seem to know when to quit at times, especially at 2:00 a.m. when we should be sleeping (speaking for myself here).
As Paul was ending his letter to the Philippians, he had a lot to say and remind them of. One of those reminders we see here in verse 8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Paul lays out six ways on which to think. They are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Let’s take a look at each one:
True –things that are honest.
Noble – things worthy of respect
Right – things that are just according to God’s standard and not the world’s.
Pure – things that are innocent and free from defilement
Lovely – things that promote peace
Admirable – things that are positive and constructive
If anything is excellent and praiseworthy, in other words, pleasing to God and worthy of praise. These are the things to think about.
It is no surprise that our minds are bombarded every day with all kinds of ideas and thoughts on ways we should think on some subject or matter, primarily through social media, T.V. programming, or what we read on the internet. Many times the way we are encouraged to think about such issues and subjects is wrong. It goes contrary to what God’s Word has to say. We must guard against this and shouldn’t waste our minds on thoughts opposite of the list above, thoughts that are dishonest, untrue, defiled, disrespectful, and destructive.
You may be asking yourself, how? How do I think in a way that pleases God? Right thinking takes daily time spent in God’s word. The more time you can devote to reading and meditating, and studying God’s word, the better we will be. When we fill our minds with God’s word, we become better at detecting wrong thoughts.
Paul also wrote to the church of Corinth. Warning them not to take the world’s wisdom over the wisdom of God. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:5:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Notice towards the end of the verse the phrase “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” The word captive means to subdue. We are to bring under control our thoughts and make them obedient to what Christ would want our thoughts to be.
Both what and how we think are important. We can’t please God if our thoughts are consistently opposite of what is right. We must tune out the world and tune into God’s word instead in order to think about what is excellent and praiseworthy.