Practicing a Different Attitude! – Philippians 4

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Practicing a Different Attitude!

“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.” Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

I have often read this passage thinking that the “peace of God” Paul was talking about here was referring to me as a believer having greater tranquility or an increased calmness in my spirit because of God’s presence. As I read the context of the passage however (these passages are immediately after the division between Euodia and Syntyche), it suggests that Paul is not speaking about individual believers’ gaining of tranquility in their lives, as much as he is referring to the church gaining the “peace of God” or unity within the fellowship and protection from harm.
Here Paul instructs the Philippians about where to place the focus of their minds to ensure church unity. Interestingly enough, he shows that if they would obey, not only would they have the “peace of God” among their church, but he also assures that the God of peace will be present with them too.

We cannot make God be present with us because of our actions and obedience, but by changing our attitudes, we can open up room for more of His presence in our lives. By being obedient to the Word of God and placing the focus of our minds on “, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy,” Paul assures that we will create more space for God to come and be present in our lives and in our churches. What is the focus of your mind?

It is true that Christianity is more of a verb and less of a philosophy. Following Jesus is not a call to subscribe to certain beliefs as much as it is a call to take action. When Paul spoke to the church, he called them to action. Paul lays down in Philippians 4, that our inward attitudes CANNOT be separated from our outward actions.

Sometimes when we look at Bible verses, it is important to see what the passage does not say, in order to best understand its relevance and the application of what it does say.

9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—BELIEVE IT IN YOUR HEART. And the God of peace will be with you.”

“9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—GAIN ALL THE FACTS THAT YOU CAN ABOUT IT. And the God of peace will be with you.”

“9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—READ AND MEMORIZE IT. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Here is what it does say:

“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.” Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

Are you doing in practicing a different attitude today because of what Paul has taught you?

Lord renew my mind. Empower me to be a doer of Your word and not just a hearer. Change my mind so that I would not just be one who enjoys the great privilege of fellowship with You Lord and with Your people. In the strong name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.

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