“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).
When we restrict our thinking to only the ‘excellent’ and the ‘praiseworthy’ we can finally know the honourable, the pure and the pleasing thing to God.
But until such a time comes where we’re focused on what is so divine we’re still in the wilderness to our own unkempt opinions and vicarious enablers. People of poor self-restraint we will be by default.
What Sounds So ‘Good’ is Difficult to Achieve
We only have to scan the pages of our social networking sites to see the disagreements, and worse, the flattery, flaring up with such common regularity. If the former is the opposite of praiseworthy, the latter is anything but excellent.
Where did the truth disappear to?
On the one hand we defend our own truth—not God’s—and on the other we flummox the truth on a bed of nails whilst we pour custard and treacle over it, in smarmy ‘praise’. Both responses have ransomed the truth for a lie.
Only the truth—by matter and method—can achieve for us what is both ‘excellent’ and ‘praiseworthy’.
The most direct route to truth is via humility.
Humility, as a Method, is the Key
Many think because they align with Jesus, the values of the Christian faith, go to church and say all the right things that that makes them Christian. That is a lie. Christianity is a lifestyle by venturing into the character of Philippians 4:8 and seeking to live it. That is the worship that God seeks.
We cannot be truly Christian without exercising humility on a daily basis.
Humility is a key to living in a manner that pleases God and sacrifices our opinions and flattery. It seeks for the truth because truth is important to God.
This mode of self-denied living is both ‘excellent’ and ‘praiseworthy’. With it we more easily align with what is true, honourable, just, pure, pleasing and commendable.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.