Think About What Things?
AUDIO: Listen to the audio version of this post HERE.
Philippians 4:8 (AMP)
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
In the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, is a book by Alexander MacLaren entitled, “Expositions of Holy Scripture: Second Corinthians, Galatians, and Philippians Chapters I to End. Colossians, Thessalonians, and First Timothy” (url: https://www.ccel.org/ccel/maclaren/iicor_tim.iii.i.vi.html ). Regarding the subject scripture above, MacLaren writes (beginning near section 50a through section 51a):
‘Think on these things.’ To begin with, that advice implies that we can, and, therefore, that we should, exercise a very rigid control over that part of our lives which a great many of us never think of controlling at all… ‘He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls’; anybody can go in, and anybody can come out… Exercise control, as becomes you, over the run and drift of your thoughts. I said that many of us had minds like cities broken down. Put a guard at the gate, as they do in some Continental countries, and let in no vagrant that cannot show his passport, and a clear bill of health…
[Skipping over ‘true’… see below.]
‘Whatsoever things are honest,’ or, as the word more properly and nobly means, ‘Whatsoever things are reverent, or venerable’… There is an old story in Roman history about the barbarians breaking into the Capitol, and their fury being awed into silence, and struck into immobility, as they saw, round and round in the hall, the august Senators, each in his seat. Let your minds be like that, with reverent thoughts clustering on every side; and when wild passions, and animal desires, and low, mean contemplations dare to cross the threshold, they will be awed into silence and stillness…
‘Whatsoever things are just’—let the great, solemn thought of duty, obligation, what I ought to be and do, be very familiar to your consideration and meditation…
‘Whatsoever things are pure’—let white-robed angels haunt the place. Let there be in you a shuddering recoil from all the opposite; and entertain angels not unawares.
“Whatsoever things are true.” Jesus is the truth, the Bible is truth. Think on the Bible. You can’t think on the Bible if you are not reading the Bible. If you do not come to Church you will not hear the Bible preached. Think on things that are true!
“Whatsoever things are pure.” Think on pure things… Too much garbage going into you kid’s hearts today. Too much television. Too much violence. Too much hate. Too much garbage kids! Think on pure things… You don’t need all that poison in your heart. Think on pure things… 100% is what God wants, not any less! A pure mind is what He wants! Think on pure things!
Because…. Proverbs 23:7a, says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” In Proverbs 4:23 we are commanded, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” And in Proverbs 23:19 “Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.” Guide you heart! You are what you think!
There is a famous scene in Peter Pan. Peter is in the children’s bedroom; they have seen him fly; and they wish to fly too. They have tried it from the floor and they have tried it from the beds and the result is failure. “How do you do it?” John asked. And Peter answered: “You just think lovely, wonderful thoughts and they lift you up in the air.” The same is true for the believer. The only way to defeat evil thoughts is to begin to think of something else.
THINK ON THESE THINGS!!
So, between the exhortations of MacLaren and Broughton, we can get a little more insight into the application of Philippians 4:8 and why we need to (and how we can) control our thought processes.
Don’t allow your thoughts to control the direction of your life… Allow the Holy Spirit to direct your steps by enabling Him more control over your thoughts!