I contend that the instructions given to us in Philippians 4:8 are more important and valuable than you may think. Why meditate on these things? “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 nay virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate of these things.” How important is meditation to our Christian living, our Christian behavior, our Christian walk?
Scripture is always concerned about how Christians behave. Paul uses the term “walk” to reference our daily conduct. Our behavior is indicative of our devotion to Christ. Paul tells Christians in Colossians he and those with him “do not cease to pray for you, . . . that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1:10). Paul often encourages Christians to follow in his footsteps. “Brethren join in following my example, and note those who so walk as you have us for a pattern” (Philippians 3:17).
Just before we come to Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:8 to “meditate on these things,” He reminds us that some who claim to be followers of Christ do not walk the walk. Paul’s indictment of these is in 3:18-19. “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly and who set their mind on earthly things.” There it is! Our behavior is directly connected to what we spend time thinking about.
In Philippians four Paul lists some conduct that is expected in the life of a Christian: 1. Stand fast in the Lord, 2. Rejoice in the Lord always, 3. Let your gentleness be known, 4. Be anxious for nothing, 5. Let your requests be known to God, and finally, 6. meditate on these things. Please note that in this final instruction, Paul compares for us the difference in those who are “enemies of the cross” and those who “stand fast in the Lord.” It is at least partly the difference between “those who set their mind on earthly things,” and those who meditate on “whatever is true, . . . noble, . . . just, . . . pure, . . . lovely, . . . of good report, . . . and anything praiseworthy.”
Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). How do you love the Lord with your mind? In what ways is your mind engaged in loving the Lord? Is God pleased with the meditations of your heart, soul, and mind?