Think About These Things
Read: Philippians 4:8-9
Coach, during this time where we are quarantined due to the coronavirus, we find ourselves with a lot more time to think. If we spend most of our time thinking on the wrong things, it will negatively impact our lives and those we are called to lead. However, if we set our minds on the right things, it will positively impact our lives and those around us. Our thoughts and our behavior go hand in hand. Our thoughts impact our behavior.
Look with me at verse 8: “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 there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.“
The command/imperative in this verse is found at the end in the phrase: think about these things. The word think means to dwell on, think deeply about or ponder. Not just once, but continually. This is to be ongoing throughout our life. And on what are we to continually be thinking or dwelling. It says, “these things.” What are “these things?” In the first part of verse 8 Paul describes these things with 6 specific phrases.
The first thing we are called to think about is whatever is true. What ‘truth’ are we to think about or dwell on? Jesus sums up the“Whatever is true” that Paul speaks of here when he is praying to the Father in John 17:17 – “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” We are to think/dwell on God’s Truth found in HIS Word. We do this by hearing, reading, studying and memorizing God’s Word.
“Whatever is true” is further defined with the next 5 phrases. Look with me at theses 5 phrases: * honorable (noble)= dignified; majestic; respectable; worthy of respect; *just(right) = righteous; right according to God’s standard; * pure = holiness in thought, purpose, speech and action; * lovely = pleasing, attractive to God and others; * commendable (admirable) = highly regard; well thought of. All these things we get from God’s Word and they bring Hope and Peace regardless of our situation or circumstance in life.
Paul ends verse 8 with: if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. These final 2 phrases sum up the list and catch anything not mentioned that is good. Pastor Alistair Begg presents a great question for us to ask about our thought life – “Is what I am thinking about right now in line with God’s approval and is it likely to be praiseworthy before men?”
A transformed mind leads to a transformed life. Look with me at verse 9 “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Notice the phrase “these things” in the middle of verse 9. This points back to the “these things” in verse 8. They had learned and received all of ‘these things’ from Paul’s teaching and life. He exhorts them now to ‘practice these things.’
In verses 8 and 9 Paul is teaching that Godly thinking (v. 8) leads to Godly behavior (v.9). Our hearts and minds are inseparably joined together, so much so that they are often used as synonyms in scripture. Notice that when we set our hearts/minds on what is excellentand worthy of praise and practice
these things it will lead to the God of peace being with us. God’s peace flows from right thinking and living.
Coach, what is your plan to fuel your thinking with God’s Word during this time, so that it will show up in your actions with your family, community, and team? Remember when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. By God’s grace let’s commit to continually think/dwell on God’s Word.