'Tis the Season to "Philippians 4:8" It

Tis the Season

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 (NIV)

Around this time of year, stress is difficult to escape. From gift-buying to managing family relationships to busyness smack-dab in the middle of an already busy schedule, it can be an overwhelming and downright stressful time of year - a time when our thoughts and minds can become focused on the chaos. This year, let’s challenge ourselves to “Phillipians 4:8 it.”

What does it mean to “Philippians 4:8 it?” Screen each thought, emotion or reaction by thinking, “Is this true? Is it lovely? Commendable?  Worthy of praise?” This season, let’s focus only on those truths, those things worthy of praise. 

A good way to "Philippians 4:8" it? Let’s look for constant visual reminders to help set our minds on things above, not on earthly things. Here are a few ideas to help set the mind on truths all day every day during this season:

    • Remind yourself of things that are true and lovely at home. When gathering around the table with family, a visual reminder of blessings may be able to help transform a spill at the table or a difficult family situation into a moment of grace and truth. A more personal idea is having your family write down things for which they are grateful, serving as a constant reminder of blessings in the midst of a chaotic time.

    • Add reminders at the office. At the Christmas party or potluck, or in the midst of a stressful season at work, something as simple as a quote at your desk can filter out noise, help you remember things worthy of praise and can even quietly speak truth to those around you.

    • Add a sprinkling of personal reminders. A piece of jewelry with a meaningful phrase or blessings written down next to your grocery list in a notebook or journal are two simple ways to focus on things that are true and excellent. While jotting down your to-do list, turn and re-read your list of blessings. Or while running what seems like the millionth errand to buy that last-minute gift, glance in the rearview mirror and remind yourself of the truth inscribed on your necklace.

During this Christmas season, when dealing with a cranky toddler or an opinionated aunt, or when trying to manage children, gifts and food all at the same time, may we all look around and remember to think on the truths, on the excellence of Jesus, on the things worthy of praise.