Excellent and Praiseworthy
Today, we finish up Verse 8 with what is excellent and praiseworthy. Can you believe it!?! Did you think we would camp out here until 2019? Sometimes, you just have to slow down and really process things a bit more.
Winning the battle that goes on in our minds is worth it. Our thinking is the rudder that sends our little ship in the right direction, after all. Where will I go? What will I work on now? Should I be hanging out with this person?
Philippians 4:8 (from verses 8-9) ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if the is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.
“…if there is any excellence…”
The Amplified Bible uses the word “virtuous” too.
excellence – an example of something exceedingly good
The word excellent/excellence is used to describe God and the things of God often. ie: His ways are excellent. He is excellent. His name is excellent.
We should all strive for excellence in our work at home and out in the world, whether we work for an employer or we are self-employed. But, we should strive for excellence to glorify God, not promote ourselves. See Colossians 3:23.
To think about things that are excellent, we can always think about God and His ways. He is definitely our best example of excellence, isn’t He? If you need to change how you are thinking, many of the Psalms are simply praising God for His being so excellent. Reading them can help you get your thinking back where it needs to be.
Here are a few to go to – Psalm chapters 2, 3, 8, 12 and 23.
Note: BlueLetterBible.com is a free website where you can go read the Bible in many different translations. You can print from it. There are also many study aids there. It is very user-friendly. There is also a free App for smartphones. I love it because even when I don’t have my Bible, I can get to God’s Word wherever I am.
“…if there is anything worthy of praise…”
praise – to express warm approval or admiration of – (from Google)
- to glorify, give honor to, to praise – (from Mounce’s Bible Dictionary)
So if something is worth praise we are to think about that, but if something is not, we should not think about it.
Here again, God is always a good subject for thought. And the way to direct our thinking toward Him is through His Word and prayer.
There is another great way to think about God!! Tell other people what He is doing in your life. Tell your Christian friends so they will be encouraged and when the opportunity arises tell others who may not yet know Him. You never know how God will use what you share in their lives.
Similar but Different
As you can see, the words in Verse 8 that indicate what we are to think about are all similar. However, their meanings do vary enough to warrant each other.
Small but Huge!
“…think about these things.”
Like tying a ribbon around a beautiful little bunch of wildflowers, this wonderful phrase brings this nutrient-filled verse to a close. These words may seem small but their impact in our lives can be huge if we do what we need to with them.
Attitude Adjustment – Stinkin’ Thinkin’ OUT!
On Monday, I woke up after not quite enough sleep to get ready for work. I had a really bad attitude.
I was muttering about not wanting to go to work and even about hating to go. I just wanted to stay at home, sleep some more and then quilt – all day. Sounds excessive, I know.
God pricked my heart with how wonderful my store owners are to me and how much they really care about each one of us. Then, He went on to remind me of how I really love my job. I am so grateful for it, I love the people I work for and the people I work with. I am so hugely blessed!
I am so thankful that God straightened out my thinking.
Those of you who know me well will know that this is hard for me to admit, but it is so much harder to keep our thinking where it should be when our bodies are not at their best. My biggest challenge is getting enough rest. My creative mind tells me that sleep is a waste of time. The more reasonable part of my mind knows this is not true. But when I am writing, quilting or painting, my creative mind often wins out. Then there are those times when I say, “Okay, I am going to bed now.” and I just lay there for hours and do not fall asleep.
Anyway, my point is that when we are well rested, we much more easily control our thinking. When we are tired and sleep deprived, we tend to fall back into those old habits of thought. Ask me – queen of the mid-night quilting session.
Take a Minute
Take a few minutes, now, and think about what occupies your mind. Write it down. Make a list. Then star the things that do not fit God’s criteria for our thought life.
Do This! It is so worth it!!
Here’s the hard part, friends! Take measures to remove them from your life. Find a scripture that you can use to replace it and replace it. I am going to do this as soon as I log out.
It will change our lives!! Anything we do that God tells us to do is going to change our lives and this one – it is one of the keys to the rich life that God wants us to have – abundant life.
Lord, thank You so much for loving us and for giving us instructions to help us glorify You and enjoy walking with You in our lives. Help us to be proactive in removing things from our thought life that we should not be thinking about. Help us be able to judge by Your wisdom what stays and what goes. Make us what you want us to be and help us to glorify You. In Jesus’s excellent and praiseworthy name, I pray! Amen.
Go Deeper Today: