Be Still Know
Philippians 4.8 NLT
‘And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.’
Never in history have those words been more important than right now. When Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989 no-one could have foreseen the way in which it would completely transform the way in which we access information. Our mobile phones are the gateway to a world of information and that has incalculable benefits. But the downside is undeniable. It has never been easier to view destructive and depraved information which is able to ruin lives. In such a situation we desperately need to hear Paul’s words. We need to become fixated on those things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Paul lived in the real world. He wasn’t inviting the Philippian Christians to hide away from their society. Being a prisoner Paul, of all people, knew about the dark side of Roman life. Doubtless his times in prison gave him a very clear picture of the seamier aspects of society. Paul had no illusions about the world in which he lived, and probably that served to reinforce his conviction that Christians needed to deliberately focus their attention on the true, the pure and the admirable.
This is a big challenge for all of us in modern society. Paul knew that what goes on in a Christian’s mind is the most crucial issue of all. In Romans 12.2 he urged the Roman Christians not to “copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but to let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think”. As we welcome the true, honourable, right, pure, lovely and admirable influences into our minds, God is able to bring about that amazing transformation.
QUESTION: How do you focus your attention on the things that are excellent and praiseworthy?
PRAYER: Lord God I invite you to guide my thoughts by your Holy Spirit. Help me to become fixated on those things that will make me stronger in living for you. Amen
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