Day Four: “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.” (Phil 4:8)
This verse is one that my high school youth pastor would always quote to us. Sometimes the youth group kids would just laugh him off when he said this, but other times it really made me stop and question what I was doing or saying. I didn’t recognize that it had really sunk in as much as it did over the years until I realized I kept coming back to this verse when I was unsure if something would be edifying for me or not. I found out I even knew the reference by heart fairly well. But I always think of it when it comes to mind as “The Jim Jensen verse.” I’m sure my old youth pastor would be glad to know he has left a lasting legacy in my life!
I still come back to this verse often when I am wrestling with the ethics of something or questioning if my choice will be healthy for me or not. (Nice to have it memorized from all those years of hearing it repeated at youth group). However, I don’t think about this verse as often as I did when I was younger and so I wonder why that is? I believe it might have something to do with the fact that I have started to choose the items in this verse by default now after years of practice. What I mean by this is that as a person begins to choose over time things that are right and true and godly in their lives, it can become second nature to continue along that path.
These verses popped into my head as well: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:14-17)
I feel that, by having the “Jim Jensen verse” in Philippians 4 memorized and active in my life, I am living out the last sentence of that passage about Scripture being God-breathed and useful in my life. And I would like to hope that, as I “continue on what I have learned and become convinced of” in my own life, I will naturally gravitate toward all the characteristics of Philippians 4:8 more and more. (And I would also hope that others could begin to recognize these same things in my life as well). Here’s that life-changing verse again:
“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.” (Phil 4:8)