By Jenny Young
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Thinking about lovely things is another aspect of how I am to think. The word lovely carries with it the thought of being friendly towards others. If I am friendly towards someone, that means I am at peace with them. My thoughts should be the same way — centered on peace. If I can keep my thoughts peaceful, they can stay lovely no matter what happens during the day. Lovely thoughts are thoughts that must be adjusted daily. Why? Because they can leave just as fast as they come if I am not careful.
God also wants me to think on things that are of a good report. The words good report are thoughts that are “reputable or well-spoken.” The word reputable means “not mean or disgraceful.” When my thinking is negative, my thoughts are of little worth or value to me. Why? Because negative thinking produces negative actions. Anything in life that has a negative sign in front of it has no value or worth to it. My thoughts should be positive. That is when they are valuable and of worth. God desires for my thoughts to be productive.
I cannot be used by God if my thoughts are negative.
The seventh way that God wants my thinking is to have thoughts of virtue, which is “strength or valor.” It is thinking outside the box and constantly learning — not learning about the world, but learning about God and His Word. It is having a deeper thinking of the characteristics of God. The more I know about God and God’s Word, the more strength I have to face my enemies. My mind is weak and frail when I have not kept my thoughts on the things of God. True strength comes from God, and I can only have that strength by thinking of Him.
The final way God wants me to think is on that of praise. The word praise also means “laudable.” My thinking should be praiseworthy and healthy. Negative thinking is not healthy thinking. Negative thinking can bring about depression and low self-esteem. However, when I am praising God for how good He is to me, I have a healthy mind. Positive thinking produces a life of impact because I see my life as being used by God.
When I praise God in my thinking, I can only praise Him for the good and positive, for He is nothing but good!
Not once does Philippians 4:8 tell me to think on things that are wrong or unfavorable. Every word listed is positive. Why? Because God knows that negative thinking only leads to a poor outcome. God knows how much my thoughts control me.
God wants me to praise and have thoughts of value.
The Bible says in II Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” For me to carry out Philippians 4:8, I must cast down or bring into captivity all my imaginations and thoughts unto the obedience of Christ. What is the obedience of Christ? It is thinking the way that God wants me to think. It is thinking that lines up with God’s Word. It is thinking that follows the leading of the Lord in my life.
It is up to me to bring my thoughts into captivity and to cast them down. God isn’t going to make me do it. It is a choice that I must make every day of my life. The Lord has given me every tool I need to have a proper thought life, it is just up to me to use the tools He has given me. Unfortunately, I do not choose to think the way God wants me to think every single day. But I do not want that to keep me from striving to daily think the way God wants me to think.
I don’t know about you, but I have much work to do with my thinking. I know I did not come close to exhausting this study. Maybe it was enough to give you a desire to start implementing how to think God’s way in your life. Maybe it will cause you to want to complete a study on this verse yourself. Think positive.
Think God’s way!