Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. Philippians 4:8 AMP
Today I did a sacred reading (Lectio Divina) on Philippians 4:8. My focus settled on the phrase “whatever is true.” This jumped out to me because God has shown me over the last few years I have struggled to keep my mind focused on the truth.
Wandering, Unstable Mind
What is my mind like when I don’t focus on whatever is true? I have a wandering, unstable mind subject to doubts and fears (see James 1:8). I wander in the wasteland instead of living my Promised Land and fulfilling my calling.
After reading this scripture a few times, I realized the list of “whatever is’s” in Philippians is in direct contrast to my worried “what ifs” that tend to run through my mind.
What Philippians 4:8 Does Not Say
Philippians 4:8 does not say, “Finally, believers, what if… my kids get in a car wreck, my husband get sick, I always feel depressed, my grandchildren get hurt, we don’t have enough money, war breaks out, or we all get sick and die from Covid, think on these things.” No. We are not to spend our time and days ruminating on the what ifs but on the whatever is’s God describes.
If it’s not “true, honorable, worthy of respect, right, confirmed by God’s word, pure, wholesome, lovely, peaceful, admirable, of good repute, excellent, or worthy of praise,” then it doesn’t meet the cut to take centerstage in our minds.
That doesn’t mean I stick my head in the sand and pretend hard things don’t exist. It means I don’t waste time imagining bad things that haven’t happened. I do deal with any hard things that are reality with prayer, action (when God shows me something to do), and the hope that Jesus always brings to any situation.
How To Live
As I live my life focused on “whatever is true” instead of living in the fear of “what ifs,” I will be a much happier, healthier person equipped to live out my calling from God.
How about you? Do you have a what if list that is on repeat in your head? Share any suggestions you may have on getting this off the current playlist in your mind.
“Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMP), Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org”