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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.
And the God of peace will be with you.
A toolbox has a number of important – and sometimes powerful – tools. Each one has a unique purpose. A hammer is used to pound nails – or remove them. A screwdriver does just that: drives screws, and one of my favorite tools is a level because I just don’t like to see something hanging askew. Straight is a treat for my eyes. 😉
Here are two interesting things that may be found in a toolbox– a piece of sandpaper and a soft cloth.
They are about the same size and look the same at a glance, but what happens when you touch them? Yes – the sandpaper bites with its rough surface, and the cloth is smooth and soft against my hand.
Just like a power drill, our words are tools and can affect others as differently as sandpaper and a soft cloth.
What happens when you speak rough, terse, blunt, unkind words to someone – anyone – even someone who knows you well? OUCH! What happens when you speak soft, kind, upbeat and positive words to anyone? Ahhhh…. NICE.
What’s the difference? As big as the OUCH vs. the Ahhh.
The Apostle Paul, who was in prison when he wrote his letter of joy to the church at Philippi, spoke about the power of our thoughts when he wrote:
Notice he wrote “Whatever “IS” – not whatever
There’s no mistake with the word “is.” That’s the way it is!
What would happen if we power-drilled positive, productive, and praiseworthy thoughts into our minds? It’s our choice… Just like a prisoner is held hostage, we can take our thoughts hostage and not allow the negatives in. As Paul continued in verse 9, these true-noble-right-pure-lovely-admirable-excellent and praiseworthy thoughts that we dwell on need to be put them into action – do them yes, and speak them – YES.
James tells us that our words are powerful, because our tongue is like fire. So what kind of words do we use when we’re tired, angry, offended? Do we speak as God’s Word says, “Whatever IS” – or…
What if our words reflected the “Whatever IS” in being positive and productive – as Colossians says: full of grace? Maybe life would be more positively productive? Hmmmm…
What if we would think – and do? What if we used the power of the tool we have – called our words – to impact our world in positive ways: one word at a time, one person at a time, one moment at a time? 🙂