Monday, June 11, 2007

Philippians 4:8—“Whatever”

“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

Thus far in our study, we’ve established this verse’s context, audience, and the application of the qualities listed in the middle. Now we turn to the good stuff sandwiched in the middle, starting with the “condiment” that seeps through and ties everything together.

Whatever: How much does whatever include? Only the things we like? Only that which makes us feel good? Only that produced by vocal Christians?It’s more inclusive than that, isn’t it? If anything—Christian or not—falls within these categories, Paul instructs us to think about, meditate on, absorb such things.

That’s why we can enjoy films and books of the gray areas: Guarded by the peace of God, we find what conforms to this verse’s standards and dwell on those aspects, discarding the rest from our mind.

What does that mean for us? If a book or movie—Christian or non-Christian—causes us to dwell on that which does not conform to these guidelines or causes fantasizing about what’s declared evil in the Bible, we should avoid it. No matter if there’s good in it; it’ll hurt more than help.

And therein we have our first rule of thumb for fiction.

Feet on the ground, head in the clouds,
Chawna Schroeder

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