Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
As children, we played outside all the time. I am sure it was because we did not have air conditioning and the house was hotter than outside. Getting tangled up with “red ants” was a common occurrence.
Now it should not be a surprise to anyone that I was a very hyper child. So one day I was riding my bike and came across a huge red ant pile. Do you remember the phrase, “I got ants in my pants and I need to dance”? Well, I decided to see what that was like and I sat right down in the middle of that ant pile. You can guess what happens next… I got covered with ants. I ran home screaming and crying. I do not know what my mom said, but I do remember her pouring alcohol all over the bites.
You may be wondering what this has to do with the verse in Philippians. We are living in a time with information overload. We are filling our time watching and consuming information that we have no control over. I have several friends who have become angry and cynical because all they do is watch the news and then feel like they have to change the world by posting, talking and trashing the headlines. It is mostly about politics.
It is just like those ants that I stirred up and paid the price for becoming part of their world. I would have been far better off ignoring them and chasing butterflies. But I gave my attention to the wrong thing.
When we are told to “think about things” that are noble and true, pure and right, lovely etc. it is because that is what is best. We are stressing ourselves out because we are paying attention to the wrong things. God’s word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. It gives light to our soul. It leads us beside still waters and comforts us. These are the things we need to be concentrating on. I do not think we need to be ignorant of things going on in our world, but posting, commenting and constantly talking about it is like stirring up an ant bed and sitting on it. It makes us miserable and drives friends and families away. We need to choose to be happy. If we are going to be posting things that are going to change the world, then we need to be posting about Jesus and what He is doing for us.
Let’s all make a commitment to read God’s word and put Philippians 4:8 into practice. Lets choose to be happy!