Monday, September 24, 2007

Excellent and Praiseworthy

“Finally, brothers, 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.” Philippians 4:8 NIV

After weeks of study, Philippians 4:8 is finally complete. We’ve learned about the context of the verse, the recipient, the action to be taken, and six standards. Now today we’ve reached our last words—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—and within these five words we sum up the six previous qualities listed.

Of course, that’s easy to say. But what does it mean?

Excellence refers to anything that sets its craft over and above others for its good quality. Quality reporting is accurate (true). Quality music is pleasing to the ear (lovely). Quality water is pure.

Likewise the praiseworthy causes praise to one who is worthy—that is, God. So when we treat serious topics in a respectful manner (noble), we bring praise to God. When we declare the truth of Scripture (right), we bring praise to God. When we gain a good reputation (admirable), we bring praise to God.

See how each of the previous standards—true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable—expand on these two final qualities?

So in short, we’ve returned to where we began this whole study: the material we read, the material we watch, the material we absorb into our lives should be good in craft/art (excellent) and content (praiseworthy).

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