“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Here are words that speak to the heart of all of us in modern America. We need to heed these words Paul speaks because we are in the midst of political and social upheaval when the media and the protesters are all speaking words of hatred and negativity. We believers must not join in for that corrupts us and ruins our testimony about the love and mercy of God in Christ Jesus. Rather, we should focus on the good things in our world, the primary one of course, the love of God in Christ Jesus. That is still true even though people talk hate so much these days. And God loves everyone even those who don’t love or obey Him, who did bad things to others.
And so Paul presents some of the keys to living as a servant in the midst of the world which is constantly influencing us to conform. Our attitude should not be negative and complaining, but joyful and contented with whatever we have. As we look at those who are suffering in the world, we should thank God for what we have rather than what we do not. We should be gentle in our dealings with everyone, not angry or vengeful. We should be willing to do whatever is required by the Lord to win them to Him. When we become anxious or afraid we ought to bring our concerns to the Lord and ask Him for strength to endure. That is a hard thing to do but we have to focus on God’s sufficiency to carry us through every trial and circumstance, to meet every need rather than our impotence. He will give us peace in the midst of struggles.
In addition to all the rest, we must focus on the good things of the Lord and what He is doing. Why then do we waste so much time and energy complaining about the bad things we see in the world? There is just so much negative news that it is a struggle to remember all the wonders of the universe that the Lord has set in place. And as far as the bad things that happen and all the suffering our fellow human beings endure, we should work to alleviate that suffering, through the use of our time, talents and finances. We should work to counteract the evil in the world by doing what is right, good, and true rather than praising those cultural systems, values, idols, politicians, business men and celebrities who do not glorify God. In this way we will give glory and honor to the Lord by living according to the standards of His Kingdom.