Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence, and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
This evening, i was sitting and watching the newest episode of my favorite crime drama, featuring some imaginary deviant doing horrible things to other people, and this scripture kept coming to mind.
...whatever is pure, think on these things....
Given my line of work (when i'm not being a wanna-be farmer, i work at the courthouse), where we keep files for law suits, divorces, child protection cases, and all sorts of felonies, including capital murder, i would do well to heed this advice.
But aren't most people bombarded by all sorts of negative things all day long? Sadly, we tend to grow accustomed to it.
"The battle begins in the mind," i've been told. And it's true.
The more i allow evil to be in front of my eyes, the easier it is to dwell on. If i choose to dwell on it, i can't help but internalize it. Thoughts eventually become actions if not thwarted.
That doesn't mean i have to live under a rock. It means i dwell on what is praiseworthy.
My dad has bragged to me about his aunt, Clara. A beautiful woman who was very dear to my dad and all of his siblings. He tells me that he admired her for always turning a negative conversation, or gossip about a mutual acquaintance - to the positive.
Instigator:--do you know what i heard about that busy body, Bessy?...
Response:Just last week when i was sick, Bessy brought me a pot of chicken soup. It was SO good!--
Bessy may well be a busy body. But isn't it best to dwell on her kindness?
...if there is any excellence, dwell on this....