This post is a continuation of focus on Philippians 4:8 in which Paul gives us a strategy for managing our thoughts and channeling them in a positive direction. The verse reads:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”Philippians 4:8, ESV
In this post, I want to concentrate on the first category of the focus of our thoughts. We are to think about what is true. I like William Barclay’s comment on this verse:
Many things in this world are deceptive and illusory, promising what they can never perform, offering a specious peace and happiness which they can never supply. A man should always set his thoughts on the things which will not let him down.-William Barclay
Fake news is really not a new phenomenon. Fake news dates all the way back to the Garden of Eden when the serpent approached Eve with the question, “did God really say . . .?”
Socrates, through the pen of Plato, is quoted as saying that the unexamined life is not worth living. I agree with this, but the question arises as to how we can determine what standard should be used when doing the examination.
Or, as Pilate is recorded as saying, we ask the question, “what is truth?” How do I know something is true?
For me it all comes back to the resurrection of Jesus which we recently celebrated on Easter. During his time on Earth, Jesus made some really bold claims about himself. Jesus said things that would be outrageous and offensive if he was just like any other human being. But by rising from the dead, he proved that what he said throughout his ministry is true and should be believed.
Jesus also validated the entire Old Testament as being true and reliable. So we can agree with the Westminster Divines when they formulated Question 2 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism which tells us that the entire Bible is the standard by which we can evaluate what is true and what is not true.
So, in short, to focus on what is true requires frequent, consistent reading of the Bible. To focus on what is true requires that we transform our minds to discern God’s will for us.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”Romans 12:2, ESV
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