Posts tagged “Philippians 4:8

Weigh it Out!

We are busy, life seems to wake up before we do and takes off running.  We are spreading ourselves around like seed bearing dandelions on a windy day.  When in reality at times we lose sight of the ‘X’ (YOU are here) on our daily map.

Paul writes to the Philippians, in his most personal written letter to a church, he thanks them for their generosity and care for him.  His theme throughout his letter is joy, fourteen times he speaks of joy. Folded in among his smiling words of affirmation ‘Rejoice… rejoice… don’t be anxious, operate in thanksgiving, peace… (Paraphrasing)  he adds yet again one of his lists, oh Paul loved his lists. Chapter 4,  “Finally, brothers, 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.” (v8)

In today’s economy, we really don’t factor in time to think.  Most is done on a whim, we rely on habit and sadly we just get in line and follow.  Interestingly, Paul’s ink dipped word for think isn’t our average ‘quick – consider as we reach for our opinion’ and move on.  He is urging us to weigh it out.  It takes time, a process. The picture he is painting is likened to one of those old scales the gold miners would use; a valued weight would be placed on one side and their product on the other.  THIS is what Paul speaks of, it is a calculating term.  Does what consumes my thoughts, what is in front of me, does what I read, what I see, what I deem worthy of spending myself on … equate God and God stuff (true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy) If it doesn’t, then get it OFF the scale!  Plain and simple.  He continues with (in short) “Put into practice what you have learned from me and the God of peace will be with you. (v9)

It is up to us to take pause, evaluate – putting it on the scale – weighing it out – does it equate God …thinking about such things.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)

Calculating Our Thoughts

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)