Verse 8 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.
Our next word on the list seems to be a close companion of righteousness. The word pure is not looked favorably on in today’s society unless we are talking about precious metals or other natural elements. Purity is valued where it is considered to bring something greater worth or is less contaminated for human consumption. Paul was thinking a bit deeper than that.
Paul knew a lot about purity. Having grown up Jewish in the Pharisee sect would have given him a lot of practice at the rituals of purity. He knew all the best ways to clean everything from his hands to his cups, he knew how far kosher things needed to be kept from things considered unclean before the clean item became contaminated under the law. The Pharisees had more laws than the other sects and many of them were about purity. But he wasn’t talking merely about thinking about properly cleaned items when using this word in his list.
The purity he was talking about here is more about having clean thoughts and maintaining clean thinking about everything. There are so many ways we can allow impure thoughts into our mind. They can enter through things we are watching on TV, the big screen or even videos online. Or we may take them in through reading or magazines. One of the sneakier ways the come is through the company we keep.
We don’t always pay the closest attention to the kind of people we hang out with, but we do need to think about it in the way of purity. What our friends, family and coworkers talk about can influence our thinking in ways we are unaware of. The longer we are around someone the more we take their speech and topics of conversations as part of who they are and we miss how those things are tainting our thinking until one day we find those things floating around in our minds or out of our mouths.
While sexually pure thoughts are definitely in Paul’s use of the word, he wasn’t limiting this purity to thoughts of that nature. Coarse language and dirty stories can easily take root in our thinking and the more we expose ourselves to it, the harder we will have keeping those weeds from overtaking our thought life. By choosing to think on things which are pure, we will find ourselves free from weeds in the garden of our mind.
Making It Personal
How pure are your thoughts? How intentional are you about making sure what you are taking in is pure? What changes do you need to make to keep your thoughts pure?
Making It Personal Kids
What does pure mean? Do you like to be clean or dirty? How can you keep your thoughts pure?
Father, forgive us for allowing our thoughts to become tainted by things which would never please You. Give us hearts which long for purity and help us seek those who help us think about pure things. In Jesus’ name, amen.