In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul addresses one of the greatest and long-lasting human struggles – the mind. While speaking to the church in Philippia, Paul wrote in chapter four this verse, “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. “(Phil. 4:8)
This verse stands as the brain-checklist, the original document to go back to when our minds decide to venture outside of these standards.
The main points from this verse that stood out to me were:
- Truth is not subjective; there is only one Truth, and that is found in the Word.
- Nobility is simply doing what is right(a synonym for this word is in fact, “righteous”). In the mind, thinking nobly would be thinking righteously.
- To think rightly would be in terms of Micah 6:8. It’s the “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly” type of attitude.
- Purity is both a mind and body goal. And while we do fall short of the glory of God from time to time(Rom 3:23), purity is not a one-and-done thing. Praise be to Him that in a world where purity is specifically targeted, His grace and mercy still overshadow any impure moments. Just as the mouth speaks out of the heart(Matt 12:34) the body acts out of the brain. Therefore, if the mind is impure, it is hard, if not impossible to keep the body pure.
- To think about lovely things sounds pretty self-explanatory. We are to not think in a way that does not reflect God’s character. Since God is love and created a way for us to love each other, we are to think about each other in a loving way.
- Lastly, to think on things that are admirable re-emphasizes the entire point of a godly mindset. We are to fixate our minds onto exemplary and praiseworthy subjects, emotions, and people that bring glory to God. In doing this, we bring glory to him by obeying His commands concerning how to think.
While this is the goal of a godly mindset, this is all easier said than done. We are imperfect humans and while we strive to accomplish every part of this verse, we are prone to mess-ups.
The rapper NF states in his song “The Search” that “The mind is a powerful place, and what you feed it can affect you in a powerful way.” In this sense, if we feed our minds(purposely or unconsciously) with impure, unloving, unjust, untrue and unrighteous things, it will be the direct definition of “difficult” to have a godly mind. Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to protect our minds, “for life flows from it.” Protecting our minds is important because it does produce life, but living and surviving are two different things.
In order to be different in this world, we have to live differently. Whether that means we monitor our screens, environment, or the books we read, we have to fill our minds with God honoring thoughts and themes. Living a different, godly life begins with a different, godly mind. So, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is admirable, think of these things.”