4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
4:5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
4:6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
4:8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
4:9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Being a follower of Christ means needing to pursue and reflect Christ-likeness. These things that Paul is writing about are characteristics that we are to having shinning through our everyday lives. By pursuing Christ, we then end up becoming more like Him. Our lives begin to be shaped by who He is and we are no longer succumbed or consumed by what the world has to offer.
This passage paints for us the exact opposite of one who is not in a deep relationship with Christ. Furthermore, it also gives us what the end result will be if we choose to pursue these things. In verse 7 it tell us that God’s peace will “guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. This is a promise that if we come to God with our prayers and pursue reflecting Him, we then experience God’s peace!
His peace then translates into us practically living out who Christ is which are all the attributes laid out for us in verse 8. God calls us to pursue and follow after Him because He has the best in mind for us. He longs to provide us with true everlasting peace and joy each and everyday. Pursuing these things will help equip us against any situation that we face in this world. It will help give us a clear perspective on life knowing that we have God’s peace ready to lead, help and guide us each day.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
I worked with a gentleman once who use to be really into politics and news. He told me that he eventually quit watching the new cold turkey because he realized it was causing him to be in a perpetual bad mood. I do not think they he was alone in this. He rightly observed that constant dwelling on negativity affects the mind.
This is why Paul urges the Christians to focus on higher things. He wanted them to focus on things that would enrich their community life together. As Christians we aught to focus our minds on the things that are edifying. It is all-too easy to dwell on the negativity and the sin that we see in this world. Rather, when we focus on loving others and having the fruit of the Holy Spirit then we will change the world we live in while bringing glory to god.
[Featured image from biblia.com]