If There Be Any Virtue, Think On These Things
Philippians 4:8 ASV
..."whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, 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."
Why is what we think of and fill our minds with important? Afterall, thinking is second nature; like breathing. We all do it, so what's the big deal, right?
In every arena of life, we are expected to fill our minds with something . For example, in school, our teachers expect us to fill our minds with academic content and knowledge that prepares us to successfully enter the workplace and/or further our educations. On our jobs, our employers expect us to fill our minds (through seminars, webinars, workshops, conferences, meetings, retreats, teleconferences, and more) with professional content and knowledge necessary for us to advance in our careers, and carry out our assigned tasks and duties.
Filling our minds with details, data, and information is a never-ending continuum. Even in our leisure time, the wheels of our minds are still spinning faster than the speed of light. That is why it is so important to pay attention to what we are thinking on and filling our minds with. We have to purposely decide what we will allow to enter and take root in our minds.
David, in Psalm 139:23, asked God to search him and know his heart: to try him, and know his thoughts. What if we were to ask God to try us and know our thoughts right this very instant. What would He see? What would He reveal to us about ourselves based on our thoughts?
Our thoughts drive the decisions that we make; shape our character; and are the basis for our belief and value systems. Our thoughts produce actions. Every attempt should be made daily to guard our hearts and our thoughts. How do we do this? We do this by thinking on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and worthy of virtue and praise.
God knows that He created us to think and thinking is an integral part of our daily activities. He gets that; He understands that. What He is asking of us is to filter our thoughts and what we are thinking so that our thoughts cause us to look more like Him, love more like Him, and seek more of Him. We can do this because the peace of God which passes all understanding shall guard our hearts and our thoughts in Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:7). Think on these things.