Philippians – The Happiness Letter
Whatever. The word in our language can be said in a variety of ways but the most recent is with a negative attitude of not caring. That is dangerous. “Whatever” or “oh well” means you are detaching your mind from a situation you can’t handle or don’t want to deal with in your life at that moment. “Whatever…” said in disgust means, “you lost me and I’m walking away”. Peace cannot be found in this thinking.
INSTEAD, says Paul, “you will do best by filling your minds” with these whatevers…
Philippians 4, The Message
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
And again…(Philippians 4, NLT)
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
One more time…(Philippians 4, NIV)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Why three times? Because this is not just something to write on a Christian greeting card it must become a way of life for us…so that the God of peace will be with us. To think otherwise is not in harmony with Him.
What do we learn?
–As Paul says in Romans 12, we need to change how we think!
–Read this passage every morning.
–Think about the whatevers all day long and into the night.
–Begin to apply the POSITIVE whatevers to our behavior as a way to combat negative, self-destructing thinking that results in “don’t care” behavior.
–God’s peace will be with us, helping us. His best is what HE wants. We need to want it, too.
–It WILL take practice! This life transforming thinking will not happen overnight. Keep practicing…
Dear Heavenly Father, Help me to memorize this passage, think about it all day long and apply it to my life in every situation. I repent of negative thinking that robs me of Your peace and harmony. Your best brings me into balance through the tough times. Thank you, dear Lord, for this small passage that is life transforming. May Your peace be with us today. Whatever You think, I want to think…In Jesus Name, Amen