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
I find the admonition to think about “these” things to be an interesting one. The reason may be that the call to engage our minds in the deepening of our faith is unique in the world of religious expression. Meditation, another way of describing what Paul says here, is common in many different religions around the world. What makes the Christian understanding of meditation unique is in what we are called to meditate on. The focus of our meditation is external to our being. We are not encouraged to look inward to find something there. Rather, we are pointed to an external source to find clarity.
The process of transformation within the Christian faith is found in our displacing our ego as the central object of focus, and replacing it with something greater than ourselves. When we come to Christ, repent of our sins, and trust in Him for our redemption we are righting the error of the human condition. That error is the delusion that peace and joy and truth will be found within us. Our limitations makes this effort fruitless, and yet, there are many who would orient their lives around this flawed principle.
The power of the Gospel is who it sheds divine illumination on our problem. We are broken spirits. Our identity is the summation of our achievements or giftedness. Who we are can only be discovered when the architect of our being realigns perception, bringing it into proper alignment with his character. What this means is that without Jesus clarifying who he is–the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15)–we are lost in our search of who we are.
There is a quote attributed to C. S. Lewis that I find appropriate here. The reason I find it so compelling is in the way Lewis clearly and succinctly states why Jesus is so important to our spiritual growth.
When we move out of the way so that God can rule and reign in our lives we will be in proper relationship with God. I believe these are the things that we should be thinking on. I hope that you do.