Whatever is….

November 21, 2011

Before I start my work week (I consider Sunday the culmantion of the previous week.) I opened the Word (Actually, it was already open on my desk.) and began to read, today from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  I am just starting my week but the most striking words to hit me today begin with “Finally.”  I know Paul was concluding his letter to his friends, but I think for me, this week, the passage would be better read, “Right now, today…”  I can’t think of a better way to start the week.  What do you think?

Philippians 4:8 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.

I not only have to think about such things, I need to be such things.

True  Each morning Diane and I put on the “Belt of Truth” as part of the armor God provides for us.  And I pray that I not only Speak truth, but that I live truth, that I think truth.  I pray that I live true to my calling and my vows, and who I say that I am.

Noble  This might be a bit tricky if we don’t remind ourselves regularly of the high calling we have in Christ.  Ephesians 4:1   As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.   2 Thessalonians 1:11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faithHebrews 3:1    Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.   This is truly a high and nobel calling, we need to acknowledge that we are here for a higher reason than to simply cheer for the Steelers.

Right  The right thing to do is always the right thing to do. Always.  Just read the news of the past couple of weeks to see how this plays out in real life.

Pure  What we are bombarded with every day, if we allow it, is anything but pure.   I wonder if we would adjust out media viewing (and listening) if we spend just a bit more time thinking about purity.

Lovely  When we look  at the mountains, streams, trees, really anything in God’s creation we need to remember that the beauty of the earth sings God’s praise.  And we should sing along.   When we look at an attractive person we need to think the same thoughts.  Revisiting the word that precedes lovely in this passage, we need to be mindful of God’s handiwork and keep pure hearts and pure minds when looking at anything or anyone lovely.

Admirable  Who do you admire, and why?  Do we live lives that are worthy of admiration?  In a society that elevates the flamboyant and flashy, we need to look for the good.  We need to look for the admirable, and admire it.  We need to strive to do admirable things, to be admirable people, to think admirable thoughts.

Excellent  I need to remind myself that doing the very best at whatever  I put my hand to is a high calling from God.

Praiseworthy   I wrestle with this a bit.  I am not to seek to be praised, or necessarily even noticed, but to do that which is worthy of praise whenever I possibly can.  This word came into sharp focus for me when I was reminded of our hope, to someday hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

When we realize for whom we are striving, it makes these things all the more important to think about.   And as Paul says, “…to put them into practice.”

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One Response to “Whatever is….”

  1. Sue said

    I think this is just what I needed to hang up on my Fridge for the week of Thanksgiving, right next to the picture of my big dog. : )

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