In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


As I noted yesterday, I'm working on memorizing Philippians 4:4-8 out of the Message paraphrase. Right
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now I'm seeking to unpack verse 8:
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. 

Yesterday I looked at meditating on things that are true.

Today I want to tackle noble.

First off, what does noble even mean?

According to the Free dictionary by Farlex, noble means:

a. Having or showing qualities of high moral character, such as courage, generosity, or honor: a noble spirit.
b. Proceeding from or indicative of such a character; showing magnanimity: "What poor an instrument / May do a noble deed!" (Shakespeare).
I see a lot of decidedly un-noble acting people every day. I see them at work, in my neighborhood, at church, sometimes in my family, in the news, and when I look in the mirror.   
This 8th verse of the 4th chapter of Philippians is telling me that I'd be better off not filling my mind with, or meditating on, those un-nobel acting folks.  I don't believe that it's telling me to stick my head in the sand and not see what's going on. I also don't believe that it's telling me to not be alert, observant and wise and see who people really are and respond accordingly.  I think it's telling me to just not park my mind there.

I have a DON at work who's the best and the worst.  The part in which she's the worst includes almost always lying, manipulating, and back stabbing. It would be oh so easy for me to get caught up in thinking on how terrible she is and how sometimes she makes my job seem impossible.  Instead I'm learning that I need to recognize what she's doing and pray.  I need to be wise and have the Holy Spirit help me know how to act strategically in light of the facts about this person.  But it is counterproductive for me to dwell on her "badness".  It's of no value for me to play over and over in my mind how she drives me crazy or that she calls my boss and bad talks me. Instead, I need to fill my mind and think on what is noble.

I'll benefit most from looking around me at work, home, church, my neighborhood, and in the media and thinking about who is showing courage, generosity, honor, or magnanimity.  Those are the people who's actions I should be considering. Those are the people who will help me see what I want to be. 

One of the things I really appreciate about the Word is how practical it can be!

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