Our thinking about things on the list in Philippians 4:8, sharpens our understanding of those things. We all could agree that Paul’s list is inspired and worthy of our attention, but they are most valuable when we have a correct understanding of what each is. When we think about things that are “true” we begin with our personal conclusions about what “true” means. If we are mediating of things that are “noble” or “honorable” our thinking begins with and is influenced by our personal belief of what “honorable” means. One person’s list of honorable things can be totally different from another’s person’s list.
I am writing today on November 11th, Veteran’s Day. Today is a good day to analyze how we conclude a thing is honorable. Why do we decide that men and women who served our country in her armed forces should be honored? Answering that question may help us understand “honorable.” Here is my opinion. Our men and women who served in uniform are honorable because they made unselfish sacrifice.
Personal sacrifice is an honorable thing. Military personnel give up part of their lives to serve their country. They put themselves in harms way because they believe it is the right thing to do. They risk their lives for a greater cause. They heed a call while understanding what the cost could be. They dedicate their service to those they leave behind. They don’t quite when times are tough, they have each other’s back, they give their best and more. They are counted among the people who are honorable. There are others: police, fire-fighters, and other first-responders. There are others: missionaries, servants of the church, church ministry leaders and volunteers. These are honorable too.
We find in the last chapter of the book of Romans a list of honorables. Listen to the reasons for their honor. “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you.; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. Who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. . . . Greet Mary, who labored much for us. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the Apostles, who were also in Christ before me (Romans 161-4,6-7).
Today is a good day to think about things that are honorable, and particularly people who are honorable. How pleasurable it is to meditate on our own list of honorables. There are many names from the past and others around us today from whom we learn what honorable means. How pleasant it is to meditate on them today.