The Whatever List

This continues the mini-series on peace. To see the previous posts, click here, here and here.

If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you are probably familiar with Philippians 4:8. The verse states:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil 4:8, ESV)

This verse is often used as a reminder that as a Christian our thoughts, our actions, our behaviors, need to be that which brings God glory.  It’s a good reminder; one that we probably can’t hear often enough.

However, what is often left out of the discussion is verse 9. It states:

“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things,” (Phil 4:9a, ESV)

So Paul is saying – “If you want to accomplish this list of whatever’s – just look at how I’ve lived. See how I’ve focused on what’s true;  see how I’ve lived in accordance with what’s honorable.” And then he states:

“and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil 4:9b, ESV)

Do you catch that? If we focus on the things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable – then we will experience God’s peace. That’s because when we are focusing on these things, we are focusing on the things of God – and in that – in recognizing Who He is, who we’re not, and that He has all things in His control, we will know His calming presence.

So if we’re feeling anxious – focus on what’s true – that God is in control.

If we’re worried – focus on what’s honorable – doing the things that give God glory.

If you’re uncertain – focus on what’s just -that for the Christian, God’s justice has already been fulfilled.

If you’re in a time of despair – focus on what’s lovely – and be reminded of God’s grace.

May each of us experience His calming peace today, as we focus on the things that are of God.


What do you think?