Therefore, my brothers…stand firm (lifestyle) thus in the Lord. (Philippians 4:1, ESV, parenthesis added)
In this verse, Paul confirms that I am able to stand firm in the Lord by practicing godly deeds and thinking godly thoughts. When I do so, these will be readily apparent in my lifestyle.
Paul gives an instructive outline for a godly lifestyle and a godly mindset. He encourages us to heed his advice. If we do so, God will reward our obedience.
Six Godly Traits
Christians habitually display these six traits:
- Peacemaking – We skillfully resolve conflict and live peacefully. Christ said this trait validates that we are His children (Matthew 5:9).
- Rejoicing – We rejoice always, not just when things are going well. David tells us to delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4). To clarify, in good times and bad, we base our joy on God and always lift our praises to Him.
- Reasonableness – We are gentle and moderate. Such a gentle spirit comes from heavenly wisdom (James 3:17). As a result, all our interactions are gentle and compassionate.
- Trust – We are diligent about life, but never distrustful of God’s sovereign control. Jesus encouraged a worry-free life (Matthew 6:25).
- Thankfulness – We develop an attitude of gratitude and praise. In heaven, we will join the heavenly hosts in singing thankful praise to God (Revelation 7:9-12). Let’s prepare by practicing now.
- Godly Mindset – Eight thoughts habitually dominate our minds:
- Truth – We are real, genuine, and honest. We speak no gossip, rumors, or lying.
- Honor – We are respectful and reliable. We maintain honor and integrity by adhering to Godly moral and ethical codes.
- Justice – We are fair, consistent, and righteous. We have no deceitful or shady practices.
- Purity – We are chaste, blameless, and transparent. We have no immoral fantasizing or impure thoughts.
- Loveliness – We are appropriate and loving in all interactions.
- Reputable – We are commendable, admirable, and above suspicion.
- Excellence – We are virtuous, courageous, and exceptional. Furthermore, we never settle for mediocrity.
- Praise – We are positive, gracious, and benevolent. We are quick to give kudos to others.
God rewards us for faithfully exhibiting these traits. His incomprehensible peace descends on us. And His peace quietly guards our hearts and minds. In addition, God Himself draws near to us. What could possibly be better?
- Which of the six traits do I need to emphasis more?
- Which of the eight thoughts do I need to maintain in my mindset?
- What prevents me from consistently practicing these traits?