“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.”
Thoughts… Do you want to know the key to everything in your life? Here it is: It is how you think.
The term Paul uses for “think” in this verse is from the Greek term is “logizomai”. It literally means to compute, to calculate—to think deliberately, proactively and strategically. It speaks of an exercise in mental reflection that affects one’s conduct.
Now herein lies an important truth about the human mind: What we do—our behavior—and what is done to us—our circumstances—do not produce what we think. Rather, what we think produces our behavior in any given set of circumstances.
Psychiatrist William Glasser, the father of reality therapy, discovered in his study of how the brain works that man isn’t controlled by external factors, but by internal desires. Furthermore, our desires are predetermined by our thinking. So he concludes that the mind is the command center determining conduct, and therefore, the critical issue for man is how he thinks.
Glasser only discovered what the Bible had long ago said—that we are the product of our thinking. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks within himself, so he is.” We are what we think! That’s why Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart” — the heart in Hebrew thought was the center of thinking — “for it is the wellspring of life.”
So if you want to improve your experience of life, deliberately and strategically change your thinking. When Paul says, “think about,” he doesn’t mean leave it up to whatever pops into your brain. He’s saying to intentionally and rigidly allow only certain things into your mind. He is referring to the spiritual discipline of setting godly virtues and Biblical values as the gate-keeper of your mind. He’s not simply talking about positive thinking, mere optimism, self-hypnosis or silly mind-games. He’s saying to think deeply, rationally and habitually about the things of God.
God created us with a mind, and he commands us to think. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us reason together.” And the primary path for our reasoning is to be God’s Word. When God gave us his revelation, he didn’t give us a movie, or a series of music videos, not even a book on tape with background organ music. He gave us the written Word, which by nature calls us and causes us to think.
In his book, “Your Mind Matters, John Stott wrote, “Sin has more dangerous effects on our feeling than our thinking, because our opinions are more easily checked and regulated by revealed truth than are experiences.” That’s why Paul calls us in verse 8 to think deliberately, deeply, and critically about six things:
One, about truthful things—Jesus said, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). This calls for meditating on God’s Word.
Two, about noble things—the Greek term means “worthy of respect” and refers to what is noble, dignified, and reverent, as opposed to what is profane!
Three, on righteous things—this which is in perfect harmony with the eternal truth of Scripture.
Four, about pure things—that which is morally clean and undefiled.
Five, about lovely things—this word appears only here in the New Testament, and it means whatever is gracious, uplifting and ennobling.
Six, about admirable things—which refers to that which is worthy of veneration by believers and reputable in the world at large. In other words, things that are “excellent and praiseworthy.”
When you get serious about the spiritual discipline of right thinking, it will produce a new pattern of thinking. That new pattern of thinking will produce a new pattern of living. That new pattern of living will lead to a new experience of life, the abundant life, that Jesus said he came to give.
Everything God’s wants you to experience in this life is keyed by how you think. Ruthlessly tune out that which is inconsistent with your spiritual values and Biblical truth and practice thinking Christianly. Allow the mind of the Master to be the master of your mind. Then you’ll act Christianly and you’ll feel Christianly.
So start today—think about these things!
Prayer… Father, take my mind and let it be always, only thinking of you. Let your Truth saturate. Let your Word consume me. Let the mind of the Master be the master of my mind. Today, O God, guard my mind in Christ Jesus.
One More Thing… “Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit, and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”