Philippians 4.8-9 – Food for the Mind

Having talked about joyful character and conduct in vv.4-7, Paul now talks about where to fix the mind. He begins a list of what we are to be thinking about with whatever is true, and encourages the Philippians to meditate on, think deeply about, things that are; true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, things of excellence, and things worthy of praise. 

Simply, these things are food for the mind. 

Much of the time critics of religion and faith will say things like ‘Well, you just blindly follow and never think for yourself.’ Here Paul says actually, you ought to be filtering and selectively choosing the food that you give your mind, you ought to be taking captive all your thoughts, sorting and separating them, and thinking deeply on these things (v.8, cf. 2 Corinthians 10.5). We wouldn’t feed our bodies copious amounts of fast food every day, so why are we comfortable feeding our minds poor quality ‘food’?

He then offers himself as an example (v.9a), and again shows the saints at Philippi the prize, the goal, their target; the God of peace will be with you. This is in addition to experiencing the peace of God in vv.4-7, now the God of peace will be with you. What a peace-filled life Paul is urging the Philippians to have!

For you and for me, we would do well today to focus on the list given in v.8 as food for the mind. We live in a day and age where there is too much information available to us and we have become overly saturated. Just think, a sponge can only hold so much water before it starts to lose some. The same is true for the information age we live in, too much is just that, too much. Paul is saying that we ought to choose to think about things that are; true, honourable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, things of excellence, and things worthy of praise. 

Choose to think well today (v.8), and if you need help, look at the Godly examples around you (v.9). Very simply, choose what you are feeding your mind!

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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