If there is any Excellence and Worthy of praise
The last two things that we read as Paul is instructing us in how I like to phrase “Stinkin’ Thinkin'”, is to think on things of excellence and worthy of praise!
I have taken excerpts from “Precepts Austin”, which is an online commentary source that I believe to be accurate. The link to this website is listed below for your reference as well and to be able to go into even more depth on this subject.
1“Excellence (2703) (arete) refers to any preeminence (moral, intellectual, military). Arete is a term denoting consummate ‘excellence’ or ‘merit’ within a social context. To the Greek philosophers, it meant “the fulfillment of a thing.” Arete came to mean quality of life which made someone or something stand out as excellent. Arete never means cloistered virtue or virtue of attitude, but virtue which is demonstrated in life.”
When a thought enters your mind, you may begin to start wondering and questioning a situation. Use that opportune time to evaluate whether or not this thought is “Excellent”! Is the thought that is in your mind an example of “excellence or merit”? Does it honor God and reflect upon His excellence? If it does not, you know that you need to rebuke that thought and the devil who put it into your mind. 4Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you! (James 4:8)
1“Worthy of praise (31868) (epainos from epí = upon + aínos = praise) is literally “praise upon” and denotes commendation, praise, or approbation (an act of formally or officially approving). It means something which is worthy of being commended. The word can describe the act of expressing admiration or approval, praise, approval, recognition.”
For the believer, there is no greater call than to praise the Father, thanking Him, loving Him, and trusting Him in all circumstances. So when tempted to ponder something that is attacking your mind, think on what is praiseworthy and give the thoughts over to Him to ease the pressures that you face with those thoughts.
Charles Spurgeon noted just how important it is to praise the Father all day long. In Psalm 35:8, the psalmist uses the Hebrew word 1 “tehillah”, which means hymn or song of praise, praise in general – all day long. Spurgeon says: “Unceasing praise is here vowed to the just and gracious God. From morning till evening the grateful tongue would talk and sing, and glorify the Lord. O for such a resolve carried out by us all!”
As we come to the last of these 8 things, Paul reminds us to “Think on these things”! What does the bible refer to when we read “Think”? According to Strong’s Concordance, (G3049) defines the word used here as follows:
A thing is reckoned as or to be something, i.e. as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight:
1) To reckon inward, count up or weigh the reasons
2) To deliberate by reckoning up all the reasons
3) To gather or infer
4) To consider, take into account, weigh, meditate on
5) To suppose, deem, judge
6) To determine, purpose, decide
So my fellow believer, when we are called to think on these things, we see the true remedy of “Stinkin’ Thinkin'” defined clearly in God’s word, right here! Determine to make the change in your (my) thinking today to use these definitions as we ponder “..whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent or worthy of praise”! The good news is that there is a promise after this teaching, and I’ll cover that in our last post in this series!
1 Precept Austin Commentary
2 Blue Letter Bible (Definition of arete)
3 Blue Letter Bible (Definition of epainos)
4 James 4:8