July 24

July 24
by Joe Hill

Devotion- The P48 Test

What’s on your mind?

Before my daughter was born, I used to do quite a bit of mountain biking. A common piece of biking wisdom is to focus on the path you want to take, not on the obstacles you want to avoid. And this isn’t just directions on a map, but how you navigate the trails you choose to take. If it is a rocky and treacherous trail, focus on the line that leads you between or around the obstacles rather than focusing on the rock or root in your way that you want to avoid.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.”

What an interesting verse! It is almost like Paul pulled out his thesaurus, opened up to the entry on the word “good” and just wrote everything it said. But I think he is trying to make a very valuable point: what we think about matters. And so we are back onto the question, “what’s on your mind?”

What kinds of things are occupying your thoughts lately? In challenging times, it can be so easy to fixate on the negative things. And negativity breeds negativity. Like mountain biking, if you fixate on the rock you want to avoid, you’re going to hit it! Our thoughts are powerful. That is why God says that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). When I was in junior high, a camp counselor at a Christian Camp I went to told about The P48 Test (the Philippians 4:8 Test). Our thoughts- and consequently, our actions- should pass the P48 Test. Are they noble, right, admirable, praiseworthy, or pure?

Paul encourages us to dwell on the good. This isn’t a naïve pair of rose-colored glasses, but rather an honest assessment of the realities of life in light of the goodness of God and the hope we have in Christ.

 


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