Philippians 4:8, “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.”
The poor quality of our thinking is one of the biggest causes of our unhappiness. If we can change our foolish and even sinful ways of thinking we can overcome the depressed state under which our minds often struggle. As a man thinketh so is he, Proverbs 23:7. In a real sense we are a product of our thoughts and of our way of thinking. The Saviour sometimes asked, “How think ye?” (Matthew 18:12). Or “What think ye?” ((Matthew 21:28). Everyday we need to bring these questions of our Lord to our hearts.
The Christian therefore must think right. The nature of our thoughts have to be carefully guarded. Paul in our text today tells us how to think. The vital matter is the material upon which we spend our thoughts. The Holy Spirit gives us an eight point measuring rod. Things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy are worth thinking about. Everything opposite to these things must be cast out of mind and we must steadfastly refuse to let them ever return.
Bishop Ryle listed seven things to think about. The Lord’s Day, God, the Bible, the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit, holiness and things to come (death, second advent, heaven and hell).
“Wicked thoughts are deadly evils” (William Perkins 1558-1602).