Truth, Honor, Justice, Purity, Loveliness, Graciousness, Excellence, Worthy of Praise
No, this is not a preview line leading us into a foreshadowing of traits we will see develop in a fictional heroine from a movie or novel. Instead, these words are from a directive by the Apostle Paul to the brethren at the church of Philippi, real people like you and me:
“(8) Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (9) What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).
Paul’s directive to keep a mind/heart-focus toward Godly fruits of the Spirit is crucial: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. . . (Proverbs 23:7). What we think directs what we do and how we do it. Is it done with truth, honor, justice, purity, loveliness, graciousness, and excellence? Is it worthy of praise from God? Do we ask ourselves these questions before we act or speak?
“Think—before you act” was one poster on my classroom door. I, sometimes, had it taped on both sides of the glass window, so students saw this message while entering and exiting from my room. Do we need a poster to remind us—to STOP and THINK before we ACT?
What we put before our eyes will become what we see in our thoughts and, ultimately, what we do in our actions and utter in our speech. The Israelites were told to constantly and consistently place the commandments before them and their children: 4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord, 5 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; 7 and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
I still have posters, plaques, and sayings to remind me to STOP and THINK. They are everywhere in my home. Some are included below:
**If you exit from the laundry room door to the garage, you will encounter one on that door: “Help me to remember, Lord, that nothing’s going to happen today that you and I can’t handle together.”
**If you enter my condo from the garage, you will see the message: “God bless.”
**In my kitchen, you will see many messages, two being: “The Lord is my light and salvation.” (Psalm 27:1) and “Lord, guide me with your gentle hand.”
**In the dining room, there is the plaque “Prayer changes things” and the name “JESUS” in a wooden cast that some cannot clearly see until it is pointed out—and, from then on, it is before them.
**Moving to the living room, there is a picture of a deer herd near a stream of water with this scripture imprinted beneath: “As the deer pants for water, so my soul pants for thee” (Psalm 42:1).
**In the hall, I have a crewel-embroidered and cross-stitched picture that I made of the 23rd Psalm.
**My favorite scripture is in my bedroom on the bedpost: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). It is before me—and beside me–every morning and every night.
What reminds you to have a heart/mind focus on God and these fruits of the Spirit, to think always upon these things: Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, whatever is excellent and whatever is worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8)
What is before you—that reminds you constantly and consistently of God?
(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/10/16) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word