Friday, September 5, 2014

Philippians 4:8 -- On Emphasizing the Good

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
Philippians 4:8

I've read this scripture several times, and Joseph Smith refers to this verse in the Articles of Faith, so the list of good things is very familiar, but today it seems new.  The scriptures are cool like that.  There is so much we can get out of them, no matter how many times we dive in.  Today, what I see is encouragement to focus on the positive side of life.  To think about things that are true, and honest, that are just and pure.  To think about things that are lovely, virtuous, and that people have said were good or praiseworthy.  And, thinking about it that way, what a stark departure from the way that our world is set up... media of every kind, all around, telling us about dishonesty, injustice, impurity, and things that are reportedly bad or sick or cruel.  The world is filled with those types of reports, and God, through Paul's words, is asking us here to focus on the good.
I don't think that God means that we should ignore the bad or pretend it isn't there.  He also encourages us to reach out to others, to give, to care, and to bless.  But those are good things too.  In the disaster, are we caught up in the horror, or are we focused on the helping?  In our lives, today, let's do what we can to help, and let's try to turn our minds away from the trainwreck media, and focus on the good things around us, and on bringing good even to the bad situation.

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