A reflection on Philippians 4:8
“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.”
There is a lot of junk out there! You don’t have to do much to be exposed to a lot junk. You only have to turn on the television, or put on the radio or even just walk through the streets to hear and to see a lot of junk.
The world Paul lived in 2000 years ago was in many ways no different. Different junk, but junk none the less. There are so many things in our world, in our lives that are false, immoral, impure, and just plain wrong in the sight of God – and it is easy to get caught up in these things that are not helpful for us to think about or give our time too.
Paul here in this passage gives the followers of Jesus not a list of do’s and don’ts as much as an encouragement to focus on what is best and worth our time – what will be of benefit. The psalmist writes: ‘Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.’ (Psalm 119:37).
God’s people are encouraged here to think about, to meditate on, that which is excellent and praiseworthy. God’s word teaches us what that is. A problem sometimes is that we can think about God like an overprotective parent who doesn’t want his children to do anything ‘fun’.
God is in reality though, a loving Father who can see the cliff edges and calls out to his children ‘watch out!’ The pitfalls of sin and trouble are still out there for those who follow Jesus, calling out daily for our attention and energy. But here we have a picture of God who cares about us so much that He encourages us to focus on things that in fact will bless us, will bless others and will glorify Him.