“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.” – Philippians 4:8 (emphasis mine) Interesting, the word Paul uses for ‘think’ (or as some translations use ‘dwell’) it is an accounting term, it can be translated, “to calculate with a logical conclusion.” But it is not only an accounting term; it takes a step beyond and looks at the ‘object’ of what is being ‘counted.’ In essence, taking inventory and estimating its value. So Paul is saying, (DeDe’s visual analogy) place your thought in the middle of the room, get out your clipboard. Going down the list, does what you are thinking about, reading, and listening to; can you check off each box? As you walk around it, taking a serious look, can you check off true, honorable, just and pure? Do they add up to ‘excellent and worthy of praise’ according to GOD’s standard?
When trying to understand something, often we look at what it is NOT. In this case, the opposite (in the Greek) would mean to ignore. It is rejecting the examination results, setting it aside and ultimately deeming the results ‘ineffective.’ Meaning… “Regardless that what I am thinking about does not add up to be God worthy, I will IGNORE that fact, pushing it out of the equation, I continue on, I will not be effected by this thought pattern.” (Um… nope)
The verses just prior Paul’s list of thinking: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (vss 6,7) Do we really want to trample all over this with our unchecked God worthy thinking? I can guarantee, if ‘unchecked’ we will run amuck! We will hurt others, ourselves and God’s heart.
SO… As the saying goes, “Do the math…” Look at the list, (which is not all conclusive) do those things ‘add up’ to the good stuff of God?
Calculating our thoughts.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)