In Philippians, Paul gave us a litmus test, so to speak, for what should be on or in our minds. “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” (Philippians 4:8). My question is: “If I am to focus my mind on these things, can I practice or support anything that wouldn’t make this list?” I believe we know the answer to this.
“Whatever things are true…” equals honesty. “Things noble…” equals integrity. “Just” equals fair and righteous. “Things pure” equals holy and unblemished. “Things lovely” equals opposite of the ugliness we find in worldliness. “Good report” equals good reputation, above reproach. “Virtue” equals obvious goodness. “Anything praiseworthy” equals anything that supports godliness and morality, ethics, etc.
Now, things in your life or on your mind that you can’t plug into that equation of goodness or formula for holiness are to be abandoned.
Another “test” an old preacher taught me was, “If you can’t thank God, in prayer, for whatever you say or do, don’t do it.” If you would be ashamed to pray to God for His endorsement or support of an activity or event, probably you should leave it alone.
My mother, concerning dating, always told me, “If you would not want to bring this person to meet me, leave her where you found her.” I think that principle is the same as what we are talking about here.
I challenge us all to think about our lives and the way we are living. Inventory what we are doing and supporting. Paul tells us what to do while we are doing so: “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). It’s not hard to do, it just takes a willingness to do it. That is hard for all of us at times.