Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Of course, God encourages man to think. This may come as a shocker to many but the Lord does not want man to blindly accept information without first giving it thought. During the Lord’s earthly ministry, He often asked men what they thought (Matthew 17:25; Matthew 18:12; Matthew 21:28). His purpose was not because He valued men’s opinions; but, rather, to cause men to think. The problem for the Lord is not that man thinks, but that man thinks and focuses upon the wrong things. God has specific things upon which He wants man to ponder. These involve things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtue, and praise (Philippians 4:8). As such, believers should focus their attention upon these righteous thoughts rather than those thoughts espoused by the world, the flesh, and the devil.
- (For children): We are always thinking about something, but the best person to think about is God Himself. This includes His word (Psalm 1:2), His works (Psalm 143:5), and His ways (Psalm 48:9; Psalm 63:5-7).
- (For everyone): Why would God want you to think? What dangers exist when men fail to think? What benefits are derived from a healthy thought life (see Psalm 119:59)?
- Upon what do you spend your time thinking? Are these things found in the list given in Philippians 4:8? If not, should you be thinking about those things if your desire is to live a life pleasing to the Lord?
- Ask the Lord to strengthen your thought life.
- Ask the Lord to teach you righteous things about which to think.