Think On These Things
The Second in a Series on Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
It felt like we had only just finished the Annual Report to go straight into the Quarterly Report. This time it went smoothly, too smoothly. The MD sent in his timesheet logging no hours for my particular project—not unusual, but that’s when I realised he had been omitted from the list of reviewers. For a split second I did consider just leaving it – who would know? But I sent it through with an apology for short notice and turn around. The typical email came back replying to all which meant my boss also received a copy and I once again apologised, taking ownership of the oversight. I awaited the eruption that was sure to come. Nothing!
Honesty can help defuse a situation. Criticise someone and the immediate response is to be defensive, which in turn solicits an escalatory response. Hold your hands up and acknowledge the mistake and it just takes the wind out of the sails. Hebrews 13:18 says that in all things we should be willing to live honestly.
True, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue and praise are all interrelated. We cannot live an honest life in isolation; our life also has to be one that is true, just, of good report and virtue. There are no short cuts: what we are eventually surfaces because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34), for God reveals the deep and secret things (Daniel 2:22), and He’ll bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
1 Thessalonians 4:12 encourages us to live our lives honestly so as not to tarnish God’s way. Acts 6:2-3 show us that honesty is a basic requirement for serving God’s people as a deacon: “Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” If we immerse ourselves in Christ and His word, our conduct will be an honest one (Romans 13:13-14). And living an honest life in this world will eventually lead to others praising God (1 Peter 2:12).
Father, thank You for reminding us of the necessity to pause and meditate and for Your encouragement to live honest lives to Your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Jackee Brown
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON W1T 6AQ
Local Congregational Contact:
Phone: 020 8202 3998