Oswald Chambers writes In the December 9th devotion of his book My Utmost For His Highest, “Very few of us would debate over what is filthy, evil, and wrong, but we do debate over what is good.” These words, recorded sometime before his death in 1917, were written in very different times. Today there is much debate about what is “filthy, evil, and wrong.” There are many things today that are considered acceptable behavior which only 50 years ago were widely believed to be “filthy, evil and wrong.”
It is easy for our thoughts, feelings, and comments to be dominated by our disgust and horror over the filth and evil we see and hear. It is difficult to ignore. We cannot look away from the train wreck that is our society and world. We have a choice to make. Will we continue to allow our focus on the filth, evil and wrong to damage our physical and mental health and rob our peace and joy, or will we choose to change our focus?
Paul wrote while in a prison cell during a pagan and evil age. He was fully aware of his world’s “filth, evil, and wrong.” He, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gave us wonderful words for life in the letter to the church at Philippi.
Stand fast in the Lord. (4:1)
Rejoice in the Lord always. (4:4)
Be anxious for nothing. (4:6)
In everything . . . let your requests be made know to God. (4:6)
The peace of God will guard your hearts and minds. (4:7)
Think on these things: whatever is true, … noble, … just, … pure, … lovely, … of good report, … virtuous, … praiseworthy. (4:8)
The God of peace will be with you. (4:9)
A good beginning to heed the words of these scriptures is for us to turn our face from what we are seeing and hearing in our world to a view of Mary and Joseph kneeling beside a baby in the hay. The words of the Angels to the shepherds are in harmony with Paul’s words in Philippians. Look and listen.
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). The angels concluded their announcement with, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14). Think on these things.