A Filter

Jack Roeda

READ : Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (v. 8)

When Paul tells us to “think about these things,” the kind of thinking he means is “a focused consideration of something.” He wants us to continually focus our thoughts on these virtues as we navigate our way through life. Doing this helps us develop a kind of mental filter that prevents anything false, dishonorable, unjust or impure from taking up residence in us.

Martin Luther once said that temptations are like birds. You cannot stop them from flying over your head, but you can keep them from nesting in your hair. The filter of positive thoughts keeps evil out!

Our movie ratings assume such a filter. We do not allow children to see certain movies because they have not yet developed that protective filter; they’re too vulnerable. Of course, even adults are vulnerable. We know our own attraction to the dark side. And when the dark side is presented as desirable, we’d best be very careful—or stay away altogether.

Still, avoidance is not the answer. Our best protection is to have this filter firmly in place and to assist our children in acquiring one.


Dear God, may our thinking enable us to live praiseworthy lives. Amen.