“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.” (Philippians 4:8)

This sin-sick world is full of pretence. A smile may hide a thousand daggers. A
“charitable” action may conceal a vengeful spirit. An innocent disposition may mask a
covetous heart. Nevertheless, the world continues in her masquerade because men regard
themselves as master of their own lives. Every man seeks to proclaim his own goodness,
and yet seeks to hold on to a perceived right to have complete freedom of their thoughts.

The Christian is different. He does everything with a sincere heart. The beauty of Christ
shines from the inner man who is wholly devoted to the Saviour. No hidden motives. No
secret agenda. Just a pure heart that seeks to do the best for the Master. Thus, Paul exhorts
us that we must guard our minds, so that it thinks of the right things. Our entire being must
be given to the Lord – and that includes our thoughts.

However, the world seeks to draw us away from Christ. Filth is found everywhere in the
media – in the computer, TV and mobile phone, all accessible with a click of a button.
Ungodly conduct and worldly philosophy are rife in school and workplaces. If we do not
take care to guard our hearts and minds, we will soon begin to think like the world. Thus,
Paul exhorts the believers in Romans 12:2 to constantly renew their minds. How to renew
our minds? Firstly, by seeking God humbly and sincerely in His precious Word. Secondly,
by being in a spirit of prayer wherever we go, for this will keep our hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus (see v.7).

What then are the things that we should meditate on?
1. The things which are true. The word “true” or “truth” stands in opposition to all
falsehood. This not only talks about an abhorrence of lies, but also that which is
contrary to the Word of Truth. We want to make sure that our mind is moulded
completely by the teaching of the Holy Scripture.

2. The things which are honest. The term here (semna) refers to thinking which is noble,
dignified and serious. This does not mean that a Christian has to be a kill-joy. Rather,
it points to a mind that refuses to engage in that which is frivolous and vain. The
Christian is aware that he is an Ambassador for Christ, and will reign one day
together with Christ. Just like a dignitary who is expected to conduct himself in an
honourable manner, so the Christian will make sure his thoughts (and consequently,
his actions) are in line with his high calling and privilege in the Lord.

3. The things which are just. This term (dikiaos) can also be rendered as “righteous”. A
Christian, having been imputed with the righteousness of Christ, ought to meditate on
the righteous words and deeds of his Saviour. In life, they should also seek to be fair
and just to others. All things should be judged according to the infallible rule of
Scripture. The people in the world will be impartial to those whom they like or those
who will give them an advantage. However, the Christian seeks to be just in his
thoughts towards all men.

4. The things which are pure. This refers to a cleanness in spiritual thought. We are
careful not to fill our minds with things which can pollute our thoughts. Beware of
the sights and sounds in this world. They can stain your thoughts and affect your
spiritual life. Seek instead the pure milk of God’s Word.

5. The things which are lovely. This refers to things which are “pleasing” and “amiable”
– pleasing firstly to the Lord, and thus one who also seeks the best for fellow men.

6. The things which are of good report. This talks about a mind which seeks to present
a good testimony for the Lord’s sake. In every decision that we make, we will ask
whether it is pleasing to the Lord (i.e. the things which are lovely), and whether they
will magnify the name of Christ (i.e. the things which are of good report).

Paul then ends off by saying, “if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on
these things.” This summarises all that has been dealt above and covers any thing that is
lacking. Virtue here will refer to things of moral virtue. Praise would refer to anything
that invokes the praise of God. We will want to make sure that all our thoughts glorify our

Having learnt this, let us not be careless and rash with our thoughts, but bring “into
captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5) The fact that others
cannot read our thoughts does not excuse us from thinking rightly. The Lord sees and
knows. He will try the heart of every man. Let our minds be filled with godly thoughts.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew

(3 Quotes by Charles Spurgeon)
Taken from the Spurgeon Center

Sing in trouble, again because God loves to hear his people sing in the night.

Songs in the night, too, prove that we have true courage. Many sing by day who are silent
by night, they are afraid of thieves and robbers; but the Christian who sings in the
night proves himself to be a courageous character. It is the bold Christian who can
sing God’s sonnets in the darkness.

Your victory will come with your song. It is a very puzzling thing to the devil to hear
saints sing when he sets his foot on them. He cannot make it out: the more he
oppresses them, the more they rejoice. Let us resolve to be all the merrier when the
enemy dreams that we are utterly routed!

Editor’s Notes: Spurgeon’s quotes bring to mind the conduct of Paul and Silas when
thrown into prison. “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God:
and the prisoners heard them.” (Acts 16:25) The Christian will sing praises unto the Lord
in his adversity.