Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Phil 48 Workout

". . . Whatever is TRUE, whatever is HONORABLE, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is of GOOD REPUTE, if there is any EXCELLENCE and if anything is WORTHY OF PRAISE, dwell on these things." ~Philippians 4:8 (emphasis mine)

So I got to thinking about this verse last night as I sit by my lamp, on the couch, cozied up in my nice heavy blanket. 

Here are some of my thoughts and how it is a great workout for us today in the modern world we live in:

If we are to live healthy/right/ whatever you want to describe how we should live our lives as, this is a great guideline we have been given. 

1: Whatever is TRUE: Truth. What is true today? It could be anything that is the truth. I am loved by my husband. God loves me. I love my kids. I live in the country. These are all True things compared to the opposite which would non-truth aka a lie. Ok, so we need to dwell on true things, not false lies whatever they may be.

2: Whatever is HONORABLE: Hmm, doesn't this sound a lot like truth? The dictionary says honorable means "upright" or "worth of honor; respect". Ok, so we need to focus on things worthy of respect. For example, my husband gets up early and goes to work despite him hating the long drive to work. Doing something you dislike because you have responsibilities is very respectable thing to think about.

3: Whatever is RIGHT: Since everyone has different opinions on what is right for them I will just put what the dictionary says for this word. "in conformity with fact, reason, truth or some standard or principle"; "in accordance with what is good, proper, or just". Simple enough. Every one has standards or convictions and that is what makes them do what they do, so even according to the dictionary being right is being conformed with a standard but one that is good, proper, or just. I think that is self explanatory so I will let that be. Interesting. . . 

4: Whatever is PURE: The dictionary has multiple examples of definitions of pure. "free from anything different, contaminating"; "unmodified by an admixture"; "free from foreign or inappropriate elements". So we also need to dwell on pure things, whole things. Not gray, mixed up things. This one is harder to do in the world we live in because of how muddled everything becomes. How much junk can you add to gold before it's no longer considered gold? Is it better to be "pure gold" or just plated? hmmm. What could be pure today? For me I would think that could only mean Jesus, Yahweh, God. Especially in today's society. Also when I think of pure, or purity I think of John 3:16 (despite it not actually mentioning this, the bible mentions it elsewhere but I think of this verse) and how Christ washes us white as snow (pure) so we can enter Heaven when we pass from this world instead of our original destination. Pure is a hard one in this polluted world we live in, no matter how you look at it!

5: Whatever is LOVELY: I don't think I need the dictionary to explain this one! It's better than just dwelling on good things, or thinking good thoughts! We should think of lovely things, beautiful things. When I think of this I think of my wedding day, the way my husband looked at me as I walked down the aisle (or maybe floated down the aisle?!). I think of looking out the window of my warm, cozy house watching the first snowflakes fall as I sip on my morning coffee. I think of huge, fresh out of the oven cinnamon rolls. I think of the Christmas tree in front of the window, I think of sitting in front of a fireplace next to my husband, enjoying each others company while a winter storm blows outside. Yeah, thinking on lovely things is a lot easier than thinking about pure things. Wonder why we are such a negative people then? hmmm, I guess that is why we should dwell on lovely things, not ugly things!

6: Whatever is of GOOD REPUTE: Ok, dictionary help me out! Here is the definition of 'repute', "estimation in the view of others"; "favorable reputation; public respect". Hmm, this one is interesting and could be taken a multitude of ways. I will leave this one up to the eye of the beholder. I'm still thinking of lovely things!

7:if there is any EXCELLENCE: This is easy, what is excellent? This goes hand in hand with lovely things for me! Excellence to me would be something like organic, whole foods, watching the Olympics and seeing all the 'excellent' athletes. A brilliant scholar, a purebred animal of the finest bloodlines (for example watching a trained horse in dressage or even barrel racing, wow!). But that is what comes to mind for me, I wonder if maybe God meant something else? Excellence as in moral wise, excellence in how we handle ourselves? This is another one like "pure" and "good repute", it needs more thought but I think it would mean something different for every one.

8: WORTHY of PRAISE: This, for me, can only mean one thing. I need to dwell on God Himself. After getting curious as to why there are so many different names for God, I decided to do a study on the names of God to hopefully understand why. What I got was incredible understanding that they aren't nicknames rather, they describe Him, who He is and what He is like. Pretty neat. Any how it's from Psalm 48:1 "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,". Lord is this verse is translated from Adonai which if I remember correctly means "my Lord" because Adon means "lord". I'm no bible scholar but that is what I remember which may or may not be correct but at any rate any time I hear "worth of praise" I think of the name of our God. But again that is for me. Worthy of praise could be anything well worth mentioning. But I do believe it is above and beyond "thinking good thoughts"! 

After I read this verse I did the workout just like I've done here. It was very interesting for me to notice that after doing this workout I felt like I was filled to the brim of happiness. My whole being was singing, in fact I was so happy I went to bed without heartburn (which was why I was up in the first place) and I finished the night off with a fabulous night sleep! That reminded me of what they taught us in one of my counseling classes. "you become what you most think about". It's so easy to get caught up in the rat race of life and get stuck in a negative rut. I'd rather step out of the rut, get filled up with a lovely cup of tea and enjoy the beauty of it all! Why not, in just 8 simple steps, you too can get "Phil-led" up to over flowing in no time at all. I did and now I know where to turn when I start getting pulled back down to negative thinking. If you become what you most think about, then I want to think on these things NOT negative things :)

You can't burn it if you dont work it!

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