Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
– Philippians 4:8 NRSV
There’s an old popular adage that says, “You are what you eat”. I’d like to modify that a bit to “you are what you think!” The same principal applies: If poor nutrition will result in poor physical condition; poor thinking (or thinking on the unhealthy things) will result in poor spiritual condition. Are you controlling the things you think about? What type of “content” do you admit into your thinking, which then incubates in your brain, thus producing thought-plaque and other undesirables?
As inhabitants of the digitized world of information, we need to take responsibility to be the curators of our own thoughts. Just because it’s available, doesn’t mean we need to read it. Just because it appears in our newsfeed, email, or on our entertainment screen doesn’t mean we can’t delete it, block it or refuse to engage.
What if you were to conduct an information audit? That is, for a week or two-week period of time you logged how much time you devote to various mediums of information: social media accounts, news media forums, entertainment media, print media, podcast content, audio books, devotional media and so forth. At the end of the period, tally up the totals and weigh them against one another. What might your comparison exercise reveal? What does it reveal not only about the mediums you utilize, but the content absorbed from them?
Would this type of evaluative exercise point toward a need for change in behavior? In thought content? Were you to make these changes, what results do you suspect you would notice in your thinking?
I’m not sure what all was going on with the Church at Philippi to whom Paul wrote Philippians. But toward the end of the letter he advises them to change what they think about. Philippians 4:8 is a remarkable encouragement verse that calls us to higher, better and more honorable thinking. In doing so it also calls us to higher, better and more honorable living.
Seems to me what was good for Christ followers in the 1st Century should still be good for those who follow Jesus today. Give it some thought!