“…Brothers and sisters, 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.” – Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Do you want to adopt a more positive attitude in life? Remember Philippians 4:8, it might help to memorize the verse and try to follow its teaching. Trying to think about such things when we have all types of worldly messages bombarding us throughout the day can be a monumental task.
They say that in order to learn difficult tasks in life, it makes it easier to break them down into smaller categories. So, if you break down the verse into smaller phrases and focus on one virtue each day, you will have a better chance to live a more holy and virtuous life.
On Monday, if you get up and start to have the “Monday Morning Blues” and start to think negatively, repeat to yourself!
Whatever is true, think on these things! Start the day with scripture and focus on various verses in the Bible since they reveal God’s truths. The process will invigorate and energized you. One of my favorite verses is how we are wonderfully made in the image of God. That should be enough to get you started on the right foot. Ps 139:14 NIV: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
On Tuesday, think about “whatever is noble” and focused on the selfless acts of others. Think about people in your life that have selflessly reached out to you during your time of need. I can think of many people that have sent letters and sent emails and text messages, just to let me know that they are praying and thinking about me.
On Wednesday, think about “whatever is right” which will help you to make better choices. Each of us know right from wrong but sometimes, we don’t think about the consequences of our actions. In the Methodist Church, we have three simple rules. Do no Evil, Do Good and Stay in Love with God. Start Wednesday by saying to yourself, I am going to do Good today.
On Thursday, as I thought about “whatever is pure,” I often reflected on the love of my mother. My mother taught me through her example was to love everyone no matter what. There was never a person that she would not befriend and sincerely reach out to in order to show the love of Jesus. Try to see the good or purity in others and see if this doesn’t change the way your week is going.
Think about “whatever is lovely” on Friday and search for the beauty in life. Appreciate what you have and not be concerned about what you don’t have. Enjoy the moment! Enjoy your family, friends, community and your church.
To help you think about “whatever is admirable” on Saturday, look for the best in other people. It is easy to look and find people’s faults but it takes a spirit-filled person to find the good in others. Look in the eyes of every person you meet today and picture them as being made in the image of God just like you.
Sunday’s thought, “if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, — think about such things.” sums up the whole week, and you have searched for the good in all situations and in all people.
Throughout this process, you will begin to see with new eyes and to appreciate the goodness of God that surrounds you every day. This one verse can change your Life. God is Good All the Time!
Rev. Thomas Beckette is pastor of Nighbert United Methodist Church and a member of the Logan Ministerial Association.