“The last thing, brothers, is that whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is upright, whatever is holy, whatever is lovely, whatever is praiseworthy, if there is virtue and if there is praise, think on these things.”
If we were ever to want advice on a way to live out the Christian life, resisting the distractions of this world, here it is. If there was ever a piece of worthy advice that was ignored by professing Christians, here it is. As a young man I used to canoe along stretches of the Patomic River with my Boy Scout troop. At one point along the river is a natural spring that comes up from its source with so much force, that the spring holds back the water of the river from filling it. If one canoes into the well of the spring, an area that was probably 12’ in diameter at the time. one can look back and see what looks like a vertical wall coming up from the riverbed where the muddy, brown Patomic river flows across the opening to the spring without coming in due to the spring’s force.
What Paul is saying is to allow those things that are good and pure…those things of God…to act like that spring in your life, holding at bay the filth of this world and remaining incorruptible.
While we all know that Christians will stumble into sin and disobedience, what is sad is how rarely many Christians actively seek to live this out. And further, when Christians seek to live this out, it is sadder still that other Christians often seek to mock them as being over-zealous in their faith. Beloved, if you are mocked in your faith for seeking to live this out, do not be discouraged from doing so; it is a sign that you are doing the right thing…remember our Lord’s words about acceptance by the world.
It would be a sad thing were that spring to fill up with mud and simply be absorbed by the river…it has been several decades since I have been on that stretch of the river, it may have already filled up, I do not know. But it is a thing, sadder still, when Christians succumb to the pressures of the world around them and fill their minds and hearts with that which defiles instead of that which edifies. Loved ones, hear the words of the Apostle Paul and heed them. Set your minds on these things and allow the force of these things cleanse your life from the muck and the mire of this world.