“Think About These Things”

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)

The above verse is well-known and familiar to many and is a wonderful section of Scripture for us to keep close in the pursuit of holiness. Today I was reading Isaiah 31-33 at lunch and came across two verses in ch. 33 that I think are great complements to this verse from Philippians:

15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
who despises the gain of oppressions,
who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,

16 he will dwell on the heights;
his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
his bread will be given him; his water will be sure. – Isaiah 33:15-16 (ESV)

I was particularly focused on the “eyes” and “ears” section of verse 15. So much of what we are hit with in the media today can best be described as an assault on the senses. Have you noticed that everything now is “breaking news” ? And so much of what counts for “news” is just celebrity-driven or fascination with criminals or scandals. I think Isaiah’s words in these two verses are as relevant today as they were over 2,500 years ago. To “walk righteously and speak uprightly“, it’s important for us to filter out the unnecessary and harmful stories and images that we are so often bombarded with each day. It’s important to be informed, but there comes a time when it’s overkill and no longer helpful to us. Why fill ourselves up with it ? Hall of Fame basketball coach John Wooden once remarked that we should all “drink deeply from good books”. So why not fill ourselves with Christ-centered books and the Word of God instead of continually “hearing of bloodshed” and “looking on evil” ?

Anyway, that’s what I’ve taken from Isaiah today 🙂

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3 responses to ““Think About These Things”

  1. excellent! Also the reason I don’t watch much news 🙂

  2. I do watch and listen to a lot of “news.” Part of my job.

    But, my consumption of news does change during different seasons.

    From January to April, I have to check the news so often that I refuse to listen to it any other time.

    And when someone I love is in Iraq (like right now), I cut off a lot of news.

    It isn’t edifying to me often, and it is less edifying to me when it reveals anxiety in me.

    Very timely reminder of what I should be thinking about! Thanks!

  3. For some time I have thought about giving up reading the newspaper online and watching less of the news on TV as so often my spirit is downcast afterwards. The difficulty is, in our society (the U.K) things are going downhill fast and bad laws are being drawn up all the time so I wonder if I can truly “escape”. It is hard to focus on “whatever is of good report” but this article has encouraged me to at least try.

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