“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.”
Whatever is worthy of praise…it is upon this that we should set our minds. Indeed, there are many things in this world of which are worthy of our honor and praise (though not worship). The beauty found within a sunset or the majesty of a bright, starry night; the eagle as it soars through the heights yet plummets to the ground with precision to grasp its prey; the complexity of the human body or the art with which one uses that body for dance, making music, or athletics are all examples of things that are genuinely worthy of praise. We give honor to a chef for an exquisite meal, we give honor to a painter for a lovely painting, and we give honor to an author who has written a book that has influenced the way we live. Again, all these things are worthy of praise…even to the extent that it would be dishonorable and disrespectful to deny such praise where that praise due.
Yet, while humans are indeed worthy of praise, it is God who excels the praiseworthiness of humans on an infinite level. We may revel in art or music but God is the one who gives art and music and who defines that which is lovely within art and music. He is the chiefest of all who are praiseworthy. Yet, how often it is that we are quicker to set our minds on the praiseworthy things of humanity and fail to give the infinitely more praiseworthy God his due. How often we will rearrange our entire schedule to attend a sporting event or a community engagement yet we fail to arrange our schedules around the worship of the Living God? If it is dishonorable and disrespectful to neglect giving honor where honor is due when it comes to humans, is it not infinitely more dishonorable and disrespectful to not give praise and honor where praise and honor are due for God? If we want to set our minds on that which is praiseworthy, we must begin by setting our minds on God and his praiseworthiness lest our perception of the praiseworthy things in the world become overinflated.