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Right now I'm unpacking the 8th verse:
Summing it all up friends, I'd say you'd do best by filling your minds with and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling and gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Today I want to think about what it means to think on that which is reputable.
I looked in other translations and versions to see what they did with this same word and found the following:
- whatever is right (NIV)
- whatever is worthy of respect (NET)
- right (NLT)
- whatever is right (NASB)
- whatever is just (AMP)
- whatsoever things are just (KJV)
- whatever [hosos] is just [dikaios] (MOUNCE)
According to Word Hippo the opposite of just is: Imprecise, inaccurate, inappropriate, inequitable, partial, unfair, unjustified, unsuitable, unsuited, unjust
Word Hippo shows the opposite of right to be: wrong, disadvantage, disfavor, corruption, immorality, injustice, unfairness, subordination, dishonesty, dishonor, evil, impropriety, unsuitableness, wickedness
Word Hippo shows the opposite of respect to be: disrespect, criticism, disdain, dishonor, disregard, ignorance, bad manners, disfavor.
When situations come up in daily life that involve these opposites, I find that myself and most other people keep mentally thinking about these things. It is natural. I've been listening to an audio book lately by Joel Osteen that's entitled You Can, You Will. Osteen relates how researchers have found that negative memories take up more space in the brain because the person has to process the event. There's an interesting article about how people tend to remember the negative more than the positive in March 23, 2013 issue of the New York Times. The Times article quotes psychology professor Roy F. Baumeister from Florida State who says: “Bad emotions, bad parents and bad feedback have more impact than good ones. Bad impressions and bad stereotypes are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones.”
God warns me against this natural tendency in his Word. He tells me I'll do better if I fill my mind with and think on what is right, just, and worthy of respect.
So what does that look like in daily life? Here's some "down and dirty" examples from my daily life:
- I can be irritated that my husband yet again forgot to put sweetener in my Chai tea. Or I can be thankful that I have a husband who is willing to make tea for me weekend mornings.
- When I sit out on our deck I can be filled with sadness about the pine trees adjacent to our deck that are disease riddled with a problem rampant in Wrightwood currently. Or, I can be thankful for the delightful sound of our little fountain, the stirring breeze, and the fact that our next door neighbor doesn't have any windows facing our deck.
- I can continue to re-hash that fact that my DON at work called my boss when she was on vacation (so of course I was not in communication) and claimed all the credit for our successful annual department of public health (DPH) nursing PPD survey - when in fact it was the DSD and I who did everything for that outcome while the DON was not even involved. Or, I can praise God for His favor and blessings (of the DSD, the DPH surveyor and the outcome) and know that I work unto God not for the favor of my boss. I can think on how trustworthy God is and that He will promote me, and build my reputation, in His way and timing.