The Philippians 4:8 Meaning (whatever is true…)

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. Philippians 4:8

Every day we have thousands of thoughts. If we aren’t intentional some of these thoughts can lead us to a dangerous place. That’s exactly what caused Paul to write these words. We will see in the Philippians 4:8 meaning how we can get back on the right path. 

This is a verse that can make a significant impact on our lives and faith. Let’s dive in. 

The Context Of Philippians 4:8 

To better understand the meaning of Philippians 4:8 we first need to back up and look at the context it was written in. The book of Philippians is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Philippi. 

Paul wrote this letter while under house arrest, and what’s interesting throughout this letter is the joy that is expressed. While the circumstances are challenging, Paul reminds his readers that there is hope and joy in God. 

In Philippians 4 Paul describes how his readers can find joy and peace regardless of their circumstances. He’s saying that he has learned to be content regardless of whether his life is going well or terrible. Whether he’s hungry or well-fed. Free or in prison. Has much or nothing. He’s content not based on his circumstances, but rather on a person: Jesus.

At the beginning of this chapter, there is also a plea from Paul to two women, Euodia and Syntyche, to settle their disagreement. There’s some sort of argument going on, and Paul appeals to them to find unity. What’s interesting is the same message of rejoicing is found within this plea. Because of what Jesus has done we should rejoice in him. 

This section of Philippians encourages its readers to have the proper focus on God. That way we can experience peace and joy through him. 

The Philippians 4:8 Meaning 

Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of Philippians 4:8. 

Whatever Is True Whatever Is Noble… 

Paul starts off this verse with a list: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable

When we focus on things that are not on this list our lives will lack joy and peace. We will become discontent and create disunity with others.

These are areas that Christians should focus on. The issues that the church, and the two women, were having were because they were focusing on the wrong things. They lost sight of Christ. Paul’s encouragement is to bring their focus back to the things that please God. 

If Anything Is Excellent Or Praiseworthy, Think About Such Things

If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, we should think about those things. Our mind is powerful; what we focus on and dwell on will change our attitude and behavior. That’s why Paul puts so much emphasis on what we are thinking about. 

Christians are called to live in light of what Jesus has done and to listen to his Word. Paul sets the example for this. Remember he wrote this under house arrest, and throughout his life he faced MANY trials and hardships. Yet despite his circumstances, he still found joy because he dwelled on things that were true, noble, and praiseworthy. 

We too can find the peace and the joy that Paul had when we think about such things. 

How Philippians 4:8 Applies To Your Life 

I want to end by giving you two ways you can apply the Philippians 4:8 meaning to your life. 

1. Take Every Thought Captive 

If you want to think about things that are true, noble, right, and pure, then you need to take inventory of your thoughts. According to a 2020 study the average person has over 6,000 thoughts per day. Many of those thoughts are non-consequential, but others are impactful and can change what we feel and do. 

If we want to live out Philippians 4:8 we need to examine our thoughts and intentionally start dwelling on things that are excellent and praiseworthy. 

For more check out: How To Take Every Thought Captive

2. Focus On God 

Once we examine our thoughts we can filter out the negative thoughts and dwell on the things that are pleasing to God. As Christians we ought to be proactive by daily reminding ourselves of God’s Word. When we focus on God we will not only strengthen our faith, but we will also be more firm in our identity in Christ. 

This means that we should take time to pour into our relationship with God. Spend time with him daily, pray, journal, study the Bible, join a small group, serve somewhere, do whatever fills your spiritual tank. When you do this you will notice that your thoughts will be of things that are right and pure. 

Jeffery Curtis Poor
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