“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
It is nearly impossible these days to turn on the TV, go shopping, go out to eat, read a newspaper, go online, etc., without our minds being cluttered and our thinking infiltrated by all sorts of improper thoughts. In our text, Paul gives us guidelines for our thinking. Let us investigate them.
Honest—or better, honorable toward all. Strive to “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2).
Just—or equitable. “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal” (Colossians 4:1).
Pure—without spot or stain. “Neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22).
Lovely—literally “towards love,” i.e., those things that demonstrate love or a response of love. This word only appears here in the New Testament.
Of good report—that which elicits praise.
Virtue—a standard of righteousness. He “hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).
Praise—our speech should be to “the praise of them that do well” (1 Peter 2:14).
Surely our lifestyle and thought patterns need adjusting as noted above, particularly when the verb tense in the command “think on these things” implies a lifelong habit—a continuous way of doing things. JDM