Something that can help us to combat sin’s grip on the fallen flesh is what Paul went on to say: “The minding of the spirit means life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) Thus, rather than be dominated by the flesh, we must let our mind come under the influence of the spirit and thrive on things of the spirit. What are they? At Philippians 4:8, Paul makes a list of them: “Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things.” Let us take a closer look and get a better understanding of what we should continue considering.
First of all, Paul listed eight moral qualities. We, of course, realize that Christians are not restricted to thinking only on Scriptural or doctrinal matters at all times. There is a wide range of subjects or topics on which we can set our minds. But the important thing is that they must measure up to the moral qualities specified by Paul. Each of the categories of “things” cited by Paul deserves our attention. Let us consider them in turn.
□ “True” involves more than just being true or false. It means being truthful, upright, and trustworthy, something that is real, not merely giving the appearance of being so.—1 Timothy 6:20.
□ “Of serious concern” refers to things that are dignified and respectful. It evokes a sense of reverence, something that is lofty, noble, and honorable rather than vulgar and low.
□ “Righteous” means meeting God’s standard, not man’s. Worldly men occupy their minds with unrighteous schemes, but we are to think on and take delight in things that are righteous in God’s sight.—Compare Psalm 26:4; Amos 8:4-6.
□ “Chaste” means pure and holy not only in conduct (sexual or otherwise) but also in thought and motive. “The wisdom from above is first of all chaste,” says James. Jesus, who is “pure,” is the perfect Example for us to consider.—James 3:17; 1 John 3:3.
□ “Lovable” is that which incites and inspires love in others. We are to “consider one another to incite to love and fine works,” rather than put our minds on things that arouse hatred, bitterness, and contention.—Hebrews 10:24.
□ “Well spoken of” means not just being “reputable” or “of good report” but also, in the active sense, being upbuilding and commending. We set our minds on things that are wholesome and upbuilding rather than demeaning and offensive.—Ephesians 4:29.
□ “Virtue” basically means “goodness” or “moral excellence,” but it can mean excellence of any kind. Thus, we can appreciate the valuable qualities, merits, and accomplishments of others in line with God’s standard.
□ “Praiseworthy” things are truly so if the praise comes from God or from authority duly recognized by him.—1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Peter 2:14.