Optimism and Whatever...

You might have come across the saying "Oh, she's a true "Psalm 31 Woman" but have you heard about the "Philippians 4:8 Positive Thinker?" I have been meditating lately on various presenters I hear in Church or on DVD who go beyond the usual 'great sermon' or 'motivational presentation' who open my ears to something beyond meeting my own needs.  What do they say out loud in this age of sage advice and inspiration overload that re-boots a keen desire to serve others as Jesus did-- to let hurting people know that there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother/sister?

Today it came to me that the presenters I am most inspired by (or lately, at least) are living out the recommendations of St. Paul to the Philippian believers:
King James 
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
New King James
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
21st Century New King James
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.
NIV (New International Version) 
Finally, brothers, 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.
Today’s New International
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.
NAS (New American Standard) 
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.

The Message
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Amplified Bible
 
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

Contemporary English
 
Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.

American Standard
 
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

New International Readers’
 
Finally, my brothers and sisters, always think about what is true. Think about what is noble, right and pure. Think about what is lovely and worthy of respect. If anything is excellent or worthy of praise, think about those kinds of things.
My husband and I read the passage aloud from different translations above. Put all the wonderful descriptors together and you have a vocabulary well worth meditating upon and, under the words is the Word, Jesus Christ, the only true embodiment of all of these characteristics.  You have a solid, positive guide to making choices that will uplift, encourage, and inspire.  Others and yourself.  And you will notice those other "Philippians 4:8 Positive Thinkers" you come across in your life.

Some Exercises Towards Becoming a Philippians 4:8 Positive Thinker:

  •  Take your favourite translation of the passage and commit it to paper.  Place it around your home and on your car visor, etc. so that you are able to memorize it to share with others, to repeat when you are feeling less than positive.
  • Make an effort to use Philippians 4:8 as an assessment guide around what movies you choose to watch, what books you pick to read, how you relate your day's events to your spouse, the dinner table conversation you engage in, etc. __________________________________________ 
The Descriptors from Philippians 4:8 (different versions)
true honest just pure lovely of good report virtue praise noble praise-worthy right admirable excellent honorable of good repute worthy of praise authentic compelling gracious best beautiful things to praise worthy of reverence seemly lovable  kind winsome admirable holy friendly proper truly worthwhile worthy of respect

**Bible image courtesty of abcdz2000 via sxc at http://www.sxc.hu/gallery/abcdz2000
With gratitude, I base this blog on the book "Learn to be an Optimist: A Practical Guide to Achieving Happiness" by Lucy MacDonald, a Quebec-based motivational speaker with an academic background in psychology and counseling.

1 comment:

  1. I was delighted to discover your site. I also have a site that promotes optimism.

    http://goodideaoftheday.blogspot.com/

    This blog posts a good idea each day. Whether it is a solar powered hearing aid, using a horse to help an autistic boy, or helping the homeless get a shower, the human spirit is making progress. Join me in celebrating and supporting "ideas that work".

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for commenting! Your wisdom & sharing helps someone else along their journey to life-long happiness and daily optimism! ~Cynthia