“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Explanation and Commentary of Philippians 4:8
For the one who is serious about following Jesus, it can sometimes be hard to know what to do. Here is concrete instruction for the transformation that comes from the renewal of the mind (Ro 12:1-3). It could also be called a way to abide in Christ (Jn 15).
The mind is the starting point for behavior. When the evil one wants to entice a person to sin, he starts in the mind. He speaks lies and condemnation until he gets the emotional response that he is looking for. Then he whispers suggestions of ways to calm or alleviate the emotion that would cause the person to disobey God in some way.
But Paul gives the Philippians a way to beat Satan at his own game. Instead of waiting for Satan, the world, or your own brokenness, feed your mind with good things, positive things, godly things. Think about Christ himself. Be present with God in this moment. Watch the emotions follow, and the godly behaviors after that.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Philippians 4:8
#1 “Finally, brothers and sisters,”
Paul has written a rich letter with both the indicative and imperatives of the faith. Now he finishes with a powerful imperative for his fellow Christians in Philippi.
#2 “whatever is true,”
All the other whatever’s hinge on this one. Anything they “think about” must be true. Satan would have us think about his lies. God would have us counter the lies with the only thing that can counter them, the truth, and then think about these things.
#3 “whatever is noble,”
There is nothing noble about satan and the darkness. Let our thoughts fall into the category of the noble, and of high moral principles.
#4 “whatever is right,”
Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. This simply means loving what is right, and doing what is right because is it right. In order to do right, one must think about what is right.
#5 “whatever is pure, lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
The rest of the list is meant to be all-encompassing. This is active work, and the main point is that as we are to think about these things, and we are not thinking about the things of darkness.
Bible Study on Philippians 4:8
Expert Overview of Philippians
Biblical Translations of Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
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.
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.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.