Focal Passage: Philippians
How often do we think about
excellence? Maybe when we see it or experience it? But beyond that,
do we make an effort to think about the concept of excellence? When Paul
wrote to the church at Philippi, he urged them to “think about” (among other
Paul includes in his list of
suggestions for thought:
“ . . . whatever is true,
whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is
pleasing, whatever is commendable . . .” Philippians 4:8, (NRSV).
The encouragement here, it
seems, is to be thinking of excellence so that we will know excellence — so
that it will be on our minds. When I first looked at this
lesson, specifically at its title, I made an assumption that the question was
somehow “in the negative.”
That is, I saw it asking that question “What
would it take to change your mind?” hoping your answer would be
nothing. But I think now it speaks to mindset as opposed to
Paul is asking what it will
take to get you to keep your mind on the things of Christ.
Much is made about which TV
programs Christians should and shouldn’t watch; which songs they
should/shouldn’t listen to, and where they should and shouldn’t go on
vacation. But what if our mindset made those decisions easier? What
if our mindset made it so that there weren’t any decisions to make, only a
course of action to follow; a course of action that had excellence, the
excellence of Christ, as its goal?
Most of us can’t stop long
enough to think in our daily lives. We are busy and when we have some down
time, we prefer the mindless, the droll. We don’t want to have to think
about anything, much less excellence. But we need to change our minds.
What WOULD it take to change
your mind? What would it take to go from the droll of day-to-day life to
the excellence that is worthy of our praise?