“A man is what he thinks about all day long.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many years ago God impressed upon me the truth in Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” We become what we think. Our actions and speech are fruit born from our tree of thoughts. Therefore, what we tell ourselves in our head and what we ponder upon, carries great weight in who we become.
Philippians 4:8 is a blueprint of healthy thoughts to dwell on. “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.” If we want to live a life of moral and spiritual significance, one in which people admire and more importantly brings God pleasure, then we need to think on these things.
TRUE- free from falsehood; honest; exact; genuine and real; not counterfeit
NOBLE-of the best kind; being above everything that can dishonor reputation
RIGHT-conformity to the will of God; the perfect standard of truth and justice
PURE-free from mixture or defilement; without spot or blemish; incorrupt
LOVELY-amiable; possessing qualities which may invite affection
ADMIRABLE-what is worthy of admiration; to excite wonder with esteem or reverence
EXCELLENT-being of great virtue or worth; valuable
PRAISEWORTHY-deserving of praise or applause; commendable
If we line up our thoughts with this grid or checklist, how do they compare?
Are our thoughts genuine, not false?
Are our thoughts above dishonor?
Do our thoughts conform to God’s will and standard?
Are our thoughts without sin?
Are our thoughts deserving of affection or worthy of love?
Do our thoughts stimulate respect?
Do our thoughts have merit and are they helpful?
Do our thoughts release approval from God?
I bet Jesus thought about these things. In other words, WWJT, What Would Jesus Think, would be centered around Philippians 4:8. Jesus was true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. As we think on these things, we too will become like Christ.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
Norman Vincent Peale
1. Take an inventory of your thought life. How does it align itself with Philippians 4:8?
2. Which two thought guidelines do you need to focus on?