Finally brothers and sisters, 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 anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things.
Over the past months our country has experienced a sense of deception unequaled in times past. The current distrust of our government and deep skepticism of the media have fueled profound suspicion among the American populace.
But there is one place to which we can turn where suspicion does not exist and deception does not linger—God’s Word. Paul encourages us to adopt specific ways to fix our minds on combating anxiety and worry, by focusing it in one direction. He specifically names:
Truth—unchangeable and eternal wisdom from creation or God’s revelation.
Honesty—that which characterizes you as a Christian.
Justice—righteousness directed to one’s neighbor, to God and to one’s self.
Purity—chastity toward self and others; sincerity.
Lovely—agreeable, useful to others both in conduct and conversation.
Commendable—useful, admirable; thinking that searches for the good in others.
Paul then urges us to “dwell” on such characteristics. The word used here means to “reckon, think, conclude, or reason.” Such is not a cursory glance or passing thought, but a measured and thoughtful consideration. After all, you are what you think. So, Paul offers encouragement to avoid thinking that is undisciplined, questionable or mediocre. Rather, let these qualities be the object of your careful attention, study and practice.
Reflect on the course of your daily thoughts and actions. Do they reveal truth? Are you honest with yourself and others? Do you treat others as you wish to be treated? Are your thoughts and actions sincere? Only as you imitate the qualities of Jesus do you fulfil the admonitions of this Scripture.