Find Joy in the Beautiful
Finally, brothers, 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. — Philippians 4:8 In the midst of prison, mental battles, and turmoil, does it seem odd that the apostle Paul would suddenly start talking about what is true, noble, and lovely?
Many things in this world are not right, not just, and certainly not lovely. But even in a fallen world, there is beauty and goodness; there are things that are right, and lovely. The Lord wants us to remember the beauty of nature, the love of a friend or spouse, the joy of a child, the way music can stir your soul or a story can touch your heart. Think about those who sacrifice their lives for our freedom and well-being. God is giving us permission to look beyond the pain and misery and find joy in what is good and beautiful.
If you are cynical, remember, Paul was more than a “think good thoughts” advocate. These words were born of suffering, doubts, confusion, striving, wrestling with right and wrong, and an honest struggle to understand. Notice that he opens this verse with “Finally....” Because what precedes this—the discussion over anxiety, prayer, and the guardian of peace—is what makes this passage possible. We are being given the keys to a healthy mind and attitude and God-inspired living!
We can choose to dwell on the dark and hurtful things of this world. Or, we can discipline our minds and choose to change our attitudes, change our thoughts, and change our world, by thinking about the things God desires for us – truth, justice, purity, beauty, noble and praiseworthy things. God is commanding us to think about what is good!
“I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude.” —Charles Swindoll1
1.Swindoll ,Charles R., Strengthening Your Grip, Word Books, Waco, TX, Copyright 1982, p. 207.