“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8
There is plenty of the opposite of these things in the world. Because of scams we are on the alert for false claims. With raging negativity, positivity can turn into a simple path leading to denial. If there is excellence celebrated, we can feel jealous we are left out. There is so much bad that we invest in despair so we aren’t taken by surprise. It’s a grim way to live.
Earlier in this joyful Letter, Paul breaks into an ancient song of the early church with the words, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” It is a verse worth contemplating. It is an invitation to take on the consciousness of Christ and see with the eyes of the heart. It is a call to courage, daring ourselves to see the world with the same wholeness and healing that Jesus did.
If “putting on the mind of Christ” is the theological call to a partnership with Jesus in seeing the realm of God that is here and still drawing near, then “think about these things” is an intentional spiritual practice. It activates our perception. It aligns our heart and mind so that we are able to hold the immediate reality of the world and see where the realm of God is breaking through and pulling us forward.
Think about these things is not a practice in bypassing the harsh realities of the world. It is a training of the mind to notice what is true, honourable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable and excellent and give them energy. Those “things” are embedded in every day once we have the eyes to see.
Thinking about these things changes energy, not only that which we carry in our body, but it amplifies wholeness and healing in the world. It sets us on an arc with a different ending than despair. It is a good way to live.
“Blogging one verse from each book of the Bible.”