The Good Stuff

“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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 

Earlier in the week, I was in the middle of my lunch (one pizza slice in) when I realized just what my meal looked like. First I was disgusted, then I had to laugh. It really couldn’t get much worse than this: two slices of pizza and a handful of M&M’s. In the interest of saving face,I have to tell you that I did end up getting rid of the second piece and not eating it…it just didn’t seem like a good idea. But before I devoured the M&M’s, I snapped a picture, thinking specifically of sharing it with you!

There’s a simple concept to food: good in, good out, or conversely, bad in, bad out. The same thing goes for our spiritual life. And that [not so] fantastic meal reminded me of that truth. I thought about the verse from Philippians that I put at the beginning of this post a lot. Here are a few of my thoughts:

Whatever is true…that seems like a simple goal: focus on the truth. But it goes deeper than I first thought. I just applied for a different job in my company. It’s a lateral move, meaning it’s the same position but in a different location. I think it’s a good move for me, so it’s been making me nervous. Will they like my resume? Do they want me? What if I don’t get it? All of those questions quickly spiral into: I didn’t update my resume well enough. Clearly, they can do better than me. I’m not going to get it. One aspect of thinking on what is true means that I need to stop thinking about those doubts and lies. I need to focus on the truth: I applied, I’m qualified, and if it’s the Lord’s will, I’ll get the job.

Whatever is noble…are people allowed to have favorite parts of verses? I kind of hope so…because this is my favorite part of the verse. “Noble” is such a great word…it’s a word for Kings and Queens and fairy tales. That word transports me to something more important than an everyday routine…it reminds me that I serve a God who is in charge of a Kingdom. He reigns, and I have the privilege of working in His service. To think on what is noble? I need to meditate on His ways…to see Him working in what seem to be the mundane, average occurences in my life. This week, I had a coworker open up to me about some things that were heavy on her heart. Did it happen by chance? No. It was a divine appointment! And that’s noble.

Whatever is right…now there’s a challenge. There are times when I feel downright mistreated at work. I deal with a lot of less-than-grateful customers and lately, I feel like even my coworkers don’t appreciate how hard I work. It’s really easy to speak badly of people when you feel as if you’re not respected or appreciated. And it’s not surprising that you can always find a complaining buddy. So here’s my challenge: think about what is right. For every person who doesn’t appreciate my work, there are just as many who do. For every moment of stress, there’s a moment of happiness. And regardless of what happens at work, I have such a blessed life. And (even harder to remember) God loves the people that wrong me. His desire is that they join me as co-heirs to His Kingdom. That realization fosters an attitude that changes the way I talk, interact with people and feel.

Whatever is pure…I’m getting married. So here we are, Jim and I, two Christians strongly desiring to honor God and also strongly in love with each other. We are living this part of the verse like no one’s business! We’re both praying alone and together like crazy that we can live and think purely. And if we can control our minds, everything else comes much easier. We pour a ton of energy into this. It helps me to look down at the promise ring I’ve worn for the last 10 years and to remember the promise I made to the Lord. We’ll make it to our wedding, I know we will. But wow, we will have spent a lot of time thinking about purity to get there!

Every piece of this verse has a thousand applications (and challenges) in my life. And especially as I think about my new job opportunity, and about all of the other stress at work, I need to keep this in the back of my mind. No. In the front of my mind. Applying this verse? It will transform every part of your life. I can’t wait to see how a renewed focus on it will transform mine.

I’ll keep you posted on the new job…and please, if you would, keep me in prayer! I can’t wait to see what the [near] future holds!

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~ by tatteredsoldier on November 15, 2010.

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