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So glad to bring you Whimsical Wednesday this week in our current series, “How To Stop Negative Internal Chatter.” Paul’s to-think list has charged our thought lives significantly as we’ve carefully dissected Phil. 4:8:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (ESV)
Other translations use the word “virtue” or “admirable.”
Wow, these three words encompass different meanings to me, so I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about this week’s topic.
Personally, when I think of excellence, I think of the highest quality possible. Dictionary.com defines excellence as “superior, remarkably good.” Goodness, when my thoughts start swirling with negative internal chatter, I can tell you they are anything BUT remarkably good. Ahem. Just telling the truth.
In meditating on the meanings of the words in the verse, the KJV uses the word “virtue,” which holds a strong moral reference linked to modesty and purity. And another translation I read used the word “admirable” in this section of Phil. 4:8.
When I think of all these words collectively in reflection of Paul’s to-think list,
I come to the conclusion that we typically put our best foot forward when we are in front of others. As Christians, we use our most excellent words, leave a virtuous, moral impression and strive to live an admirable life on the surface.
But when it comes to our minds, where no one can see or hear our thoughts, we belittle ourselves, berate others, and beguile God.
Wow. Now granted, I’m all about keeping our words to ourselves when they are inappropriate. But it’s interesting how I do my best to fulfill the characteristics of the verse on the outside, but inside I’m waging a war.
Reminds me of the little girl who defiantly said to her mama:
I may be sitting on the outside; but inside, I’m standing!
Of course, we immediately judge this little girl….all the while, our heavenly Father smiles down at our mental antics and gently whispers:
Be still and know that I am God.
How do you feel when you compare your outer self against your inner self when it comes to negative inside chatter?
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