Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things-Phil. 4:8.
Thinking about things that are true, honest, just, and pure has already been considered. Now, let’s focus on thinking about things that are lovely.
The Full Life Study Commentary points out that this word is not found anywhere else in the New Testament. The commentator also states that it refers to anything found admirable or worthy of love. The word lovely also has the meaning of being acceptable or pleasing (O.B.G.L.).
Having considered these definitions, why did Paul instruct the Philippians to think about things that were lovely (admirable, worthy of love, acceptable, and pleasing)?
The first answer is simple. The mind has a natural inclination toward that which is the direct opposite of those descriptions. In short, it is more natural to think about ugly things than it is to think about lovely things! It takes disciplined, focused effort to think about things that are lovely.
The second answer is more complex. To understand my point, you must consider the previous instruction Paul gave in this verse. Think about pure things.
Purity of mind is a necessary companion to thinking about things that are lovely. That which is lovely is often corrupted by lust (burning, out-of-control desire) when thoughts are not controlled by purity.
The sad result is that even the most lovely, admirable, worthy, acceptable, pleasing things become perverted because of an impure mind. There are those who are incapable of focusing upon lovely things because their minds are so filled with filth.
The obvious conclusion, then, is that we must think about pure things so that we can think about lovely things!
To Be Continued
Micah PerryPosted by Pastor Micah Perry on Sep.27, 2014