It seems that at least once a week, I’m confronted with some previously healthy food/technique/habit/item that is now bad for me, if not slowly killing me while I sleep.
For example, with just a quick scan of Facebook, I see multiple warnings: Presently, we should beware of Goldendoodles, spray-on sunscreen, frozen yogurt, and fabric softener sheets. Taken at face value, we must assume these things we thought were our friends are actually our foes, at least for today. And who knows what it will be tomorrow. It seems impossible to remain vigilant while standing on such shifting sand.
With the winds of change always blowing and often toppling the things I set up as concrete pillars in my daily routine, I’m forced to set aside what I am told is the latest and greatest. Instead, I must boil down the stew of everything I hear and read and see. Then I can check what remains. I can see what’s really worth the investment of my time.
When I perform this exercise in elimination, it’s imperative I remember Philippians 4:8. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” That doesn’t leave a lot of room for the unnecessary and the pretentious and the Kardashians.
When given this simple instruction, it’s fairly simple to mark the good from the bad. But in spite of my best efforts, those silly things that often take a place of prominence in my thoughts will still be flitting around my head trying to distract me from the noble and praiseworthy things I should be concentrating on. If this verse was true when the Apostle Paul wrote it some 2,000 years before the invention of Facebook, it can only be more applicable now.
It’s worth noting that the inspired Apostle encouraged the early church to “think about such things” for their own good, not so they would be a bunch of wet blankets, excluded from all of the fun. In the verse that follows, he says if we put these things into practice “the God of peace will be with you.”
And isn’t a little peace what we’re all looking for?