By Guest Writer, Bethany, from Sisters in Christ
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
For many young ladies, their thought-life is troubling to them. Many questions arise as to how they can think God-pleasing thoughts and overcome the temptation to think thoughts that are contrary to God.
It is a hard and continuous battle to overcome these thoughts that aren’t acceptable to the Lord...how well I know, for it is a battle that I, too, face.
God has not left us without guidance. There are many times, in His Book, that He has shown us what He desires His children to fill their minds with. The reference that brings it all together is the well-known verse: Philippians 4:8, which I would like to look at in depth.
...whatsoever things are true...
To be able to think on things that are true, we must love the truth and uphold it in every part of our lives, no matter what others may do.
What are we thinking? Does it accurately portray what we are thinking about? I know that young ladies tend to fantasize, and look at things through rose-coloured glasses, but we need to see things for what they really are.
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...whatsoever things are honest...
Honesty is very closely linked with truthfulness...you cannot be honest without being truthful, and you can’t be truthful without being honest. The two go hand-in-hand, and to drop one part simply means to drop both.
...whatsoever things are just...
Just thoughts are thoughts of righteousness...thoughts that are within the commands of God. What a restriction, but also what freedom! We serve a holy and blameless God, and as His children, ought we not to act and - above all - think how our Father thinks? Proverbs 23:7a says, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...” If we are thinking righteously and guiltlessly before God, we will act that way in our daily lives, and people around us will see us reflecting the Lord’s character.
...whatsoever things are pure...
What a wide range of thoughts this simple word “pure” covers...it means to think those things that are clean and free from any ungodliness and avoid thinking on those things that would make our minds dirty. In even simpler terms, it means to think like a holy person.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holly, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy (1 Peter 1:13-16).
...whatsoever things are lovely...
Lovely...there are many things we see in life that we pronounce lovely, whether it is scenery or an item of clothing or a rose in bloom or something that a person has made...the list could go on and on. But when we say something is lovely, we are saying that it is acceptable to us; we are pleased with it.
And so it should be with our thoughts - when God looks upon our thoughts and views them, can He say that they are acceptable to Him; that He is pleased with them?
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...whatsoever things are good report...
Could it be said of us that our thoughts are good thoughts, pleasing thoughts, thoughts that are right in every way? Although our thoughts can be seen by no other human while being thought, they will be eventually seen by our actions. Can we truly say that what we are thinking, we’d be happy for others to see?
...whatsoever things are virtue...
“Virtue” could be simply known as “good”, or –back to the oft repeated statement– acceptable to the Lord.
...whatsoever things are praise...
We need to think thoughts that are building up others–not putting other people down “in the dumps” so to speak. I know that there are people who are very hard to get along with for whatever reason, but when we - with the Lord’s help - think good, up-lifting thoughts of those people, the Lord bestows upon us a special love to share with them.
This study has been a blessing to me as I have prepared it; I hope it has been to you dear sisters.
May the Lord bless each of you as you seek to glorify Him in a thought-life that is pleasing and acceptable unto Him.