Looking back on it, much of Paul’s letter to the Philippians concerns attitude and perspective.
Paul’s confident that the work God has begun, He will complete (1:6) . . . for Paul, to live is Christ, to die is gain (1:21) . . . he says that our focus is not to be ourselves but others and that we should desire that the mind of Christ would be in us — that our attitude should be the same as the Lord’s (2:5) . . . and that we should view our salvation as something to be worked out with fear and trembling (2:12).
Paul viewed his life as drink offering being poured out on the sacrifice and service of other’s faith (2:17) . . . he counted all things loss compared to the excellence of knowing Christ (3:8) . . . forgetting those things in the past he reached forward to those things which were ahead — the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (3:13-14) . . . he said, this was the “mature mind” (3:15). He viewed heaven as his country and place of citizenship (3:20) . . . he could rejoice in the Lord always (3:4) . . . and be anxious for nothing (3:6) . . . knowing the peace of God which surpasses all understanding (3:7).
Paul’s letter is full of attitude . . . multi-faceted dimensions of how to view and approach walking in this world as a believer.
And then in chapter four, verse eight, he says, “Finally . . . ”
One more thing, Paul says . . . here’s the key to pulling it all together. Wanna know the “secret sauce” to the attitude and mind of Christ . . . listen up . . . “Finally, my brothers and sisters . . . THINK!”
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. (Philippians 4:8 ESV)
Right thinking leads to right attitude. Fill your mind with good stuff and the result will be a well-focused perspective. If I want a godly outlook, I need to start with godly intake. I need to think and meditate on good stuff. I need to deliberate on stuff that is true . . . stuff of honorable character . . . just and righteous stuff . . . pure stuff, stuff that is free from carnality . . . stuff that is lovely, pleasing to the eye of the mind . . . stuff that is admirable and of good reputation . . . stuff marked by excellence and virtue . . . stuff that is worthy of praise . . . this is the stuff I need to think about . . . and meditate upon. Good stuff in . . . good stuff out.
And, as was pointed out to me many years ago, no better place to start this “thinking thing” . . . no better way to form the attitude of Christ . . . than to think about Christ, Himself.
For Jesus is true . . . “I am the way, the TRUTH, the life.” And, Jesus is honorable, the personification of godliness, the model for high and holy living. He is just . . . and, praise God, the justifier of those who had no hope of justifying themselves. My Lord, too, is pure . . . without spot . . . without blemish . . . the absolutely perfect Son of God who offered that perfection as the Lamb of God to atone for my imperfection. O’, to think on such things!
And isn’t He lovely? Isn’t He altogether beautiful? To gaze upon His face with faith’s eye is to be absolutely enraptured with His glory. To think upon His beauty is to be drawn in. And I can think of no one as commendable, nor anything else of such “good report” . . . none so admirable as my Jesus . . . this book in front of me is filled with that “speaking well of Him” . . . with His story.
Truly, to think on Jesus, to meditate on the Son, is of great virtue . . . it is an excellent pursuit. To meditate on His Person and His work is worthy of praise . . . ignites worship . . . fuels the fire of adoration. “Finally, my brothers and sisters, think!”
This wonderful, Spirit-filled dynamic I’m participating in is at the core of being transformed into His likeness through the renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:2). No wonder Paul exhorts us to meditate and muse and ponder and noodle and think on the right stuff. In doing so, we gain proper perspective . . . proper priorities . . . and proper praise.
THINK! By His grace . . . for His glory . . .