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 such things.
Congratulations on being pro-choice! No...not like that. But by making a choice to click here and read this blog post, you made a choice to think about something. It's a choice people seem to forget they have.
In a world where many, including many Christians, don't think that we have much control over what goes on inside our mind, the verse above gladly shows us a different way. The Holy Spirit and Paul remind us that (1) we are responsible for what goes on inside our minds (see Rom. 8:5-6) and (2) we have the power to choose what we think about.
What's even better is that God has set before us a magnificent feast of wonders for our minds! While many view the Christian God as stingy and withholding, here is proof that God's plan for humanity is to have the richest "life of the mind" possible.
- We're able to feast our minds on things that are true - true in the biggest sense of that word, true in the sense of being in accord with the way God made the world.
- Were able to feast our minds on things that are honorable. This is a hard word to translate, but it can also mean majestic or noble or anything that lifts the mind and heart to consider great things.
- We're able to feast our minds on things that are just. Biblically, justice is simply giving to each person what they are due.
- We're able to feast our minds on things that are pure. Pure not just in the sense of being absent from sin, but also pure in the sense of being close to God.
- We're able to feast our minds on things that are lovely. That is, we can think about things that help us develop love in our hearts and in others'.
- We're able to feast our minds on things that are commendable, things we have no reservation about sharing with other people.
This means we are able, first and foremost, to make Jesus the topic of our mind's conversation. Who else is more true, majestic, just, pure, lovely or commendable? When could we ever get to the end of considering the greatness of Christ?
So let's think about thinking and give thought to our thoughts. Let's purpose to put Christ at the center of our thoughts. Let's decide to think about things that fit the list above, both because it will make us more joyful and because thinking right will lead our heart to feeling right which will lead us to living well.
This isn't a call to ignore the harsh realities of the world around us and never think about anything ugly. While Christians are called to elevated thoughts, to be heavenly minded (Col. 3:5), that ought to make us much more able to discern right and wrong in this world.
And a final word of encouragement: be careful with social media, especially Facebook. It tends toward misery and not joy. You don't have to think about the things Facebook tells you to think about; you are free in Christ to pursue the highest thoughts possible.