We’re working through a series on the term “whatever.” Often, “whatever” means anything, but sometimes words are used to limit the “whatever.” Our brain develops habits. So the Apostle Paul uses this technique to help us with whatever we think.
Finally, brethren, 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 worthy of praise, dwell on these things.PPhilippians 4:8 NASB
Limit to Whatever
Paul tells us to focus our minds, not on anything, but on anything that is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent and worthy of praise. Today, we live in a double-standard. We know we must surround ourselves with quality and we must take things into our brain that help us. We tell our kids and our interns and our new graduates that if they can visualize a particular future, they can create it. And we encourage them to consume ideas from great writers and thinkers and believe things are possible so they can achieve them.
Avoid Negative Whatever
Yet we also focus much on the negative. Every news show takes the exceptions of our world, the pain, the failure, the difficulties, and exaggerates them in order to get our attention. No one needs to tune in if nothing happened. But for the great majority of the world every day, nothing happens. Yet news continues to proliferate by showing off things that scare us and keep our attention. We let our minds dwell on the very things not mentioned in Philippians 4:8.
Train Your Mind
Do you want to be sensitive to God and his direction for your life? Start by focusing your mind on the true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy. When we purposely think about the true, honorable, right, etc., we train our minds and prepare our minds for whatever God has next for us to do. Our minds is part of our fallen flesh. We must regularly train our minds to follow and serve Jesus.