08 May 2007

Whatever is true

"Finally, [sister], 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." [Philippians 4:8-9]

5 comments:

Angela said...

And the Spirit will help us with this when we can't in our weakness.

Becky said...

What I love about this passage is that Paul has the audacity to tell people to practice the things they've heard from him and the ways they've seen God in his life. It's like he's saying, do all this and you'll have God's peace like I have his peace. (In the midst of prison.) But it takes more than asking for peace to acquire it. It takes a life steeped in the thoughts of the goodness of God...even in the midst of distressing circumstances. I wish we could all be like that--to live lives that are worthy of calling people to be like us. I'm hoping someday we'll be a community that looks like THAT.

jean said...

I know the hearts and lives that do look that THAT.

Blessings my friends!

Anonymous said...

Is this the power of positive thinking like norman vincent peale or is this something different

troy. said...

Anonymous--

Not sure if that question is directed at me, but seeing that I'm not familiar w/ Peale's work (other than to know generalities about his most successful book), I'd say its something entirely different.

My inherent difficulty in giving credence to an axiom like Peale's power of positive thinking is that it seeks a human end -- happiness through positive thinking. The question left hanging is: What is happiness?

In the same vein as Becky's comment, I like to think of Paul's directive to us as a mindset we naturally fall into regardless of the circumstance (or human end achieved).

In other words, when I see a mug shot of a terrorist posted on the evening news, can I see that person as a child of God? Or when I see an area of ground covered w/ trash and weeds, can I see, that with a little work, this ground could become a beautiful flower garden?

And if we are able to do this naturally, shouldn't our own lives reflect that as well? When I say good morning to the homeless woman who lives in Riverfront Park, can she see something different in my eyes? Can she sense an amount of respect and compassion in my voice?

THAT is the life I desire to live.