Over this week I have tackled a verse that is alot easier said, recited or purposed on a block of wood than it is to live out in every moment of the day. We took a look at the first two parts of the verse here and here. Today I want to hit the last two areas of that verse.
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8 (HCSB)
If it’s not lovely, it is unlovely.
I don’t know about you but I tend to dwell on the unlovely, ugly things about myself. I talk to myself in my head so much worse than I would ever talk to my mom, my sister or a girlfriend. I even hear it spill out when I affectionately refer to myself in passing with people I am around. I have been admonished for this, and now I am seeing, rightfully so. Self-shaming and even shaming of others derives itself from dwelling on the unlovely.
Instead let’s look at the lovely, the beautiful and exquisite in our lives, focusing on those aspects as God has given them to us. If no one else will say this, even your own self, you are lovely. You are beautiful. Every single part of you. You are loved. Dwell on the knowledge of His love in you. It’s a beautiful and gorgeous thing to see.
If it’s dishonorable then it’s not commendable.
I don’t know about you all but I have a knack for finding out the juicy gossip. I used to love E! News and reading the magazines at the checkout counters. It spilled into my own thought life with the people I know. Honestly it has been a real tense point for me in dealing with in the last few years and I have found the need to root it out. It begins with what I allow my mind to dwell upon. I focus on the things that are dishonoring to others. I look at things which are blameworthy. That don’t bring praise but wrong.
Ugh…that just leaves an ick feeling in my soul. So I am replacing those with admirable things to think on. When I want to tear down and share things which have no merit, I have to trace the thought back. (And I still fail at this y’all, it’s not an overnight work) I have to intentionally replace it with something of praise and thanks.
This is definitely not an easy task but I believe it is helpful to examine what it is that we have been focusing on to allow us to identify the need to uproot it and replace it with the good to focus on. Our thought lives are so vital to how we speak, act and live. I pray these over my life today and I pray you carry them with you as well. It’s a work, it takes time and I know that to wrestle with our thoughts is a step into being what God desires for us.