“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 things are virtuous, and whatever things are praiseworthy, continue considering these things.”—Philippians 4:8, New World Translation.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”—Philippians 4:8, New International Version.
Meaning of Philippians 4:8
God is interested in what humans think about, especially since our thoughts lead to actions. (Psalm 19:14; Mark 7:20-23) Therefore, people who wish to please God reject thoughts that are bad in his eyes and instead think about things that he approves of.
This verse mentions eight types of good things that Christians should “continue considering,” that is, make a habit of thinking about.
“True.” This word describes things that are upright and trustworthy, such as the information found in God’s Word, the Bible.—1 Timothy 6:20.
“Of serious concern.” This phrase refers to matters of real importance. They are not frivolous, trivial, or petty. Rather, they help to reinforce a Christian’s determination to do what is right.—Titus 2:6-8.
“Chaste.” This word conveys the idea of thoughts and motives that are clean and holy, not just in sexual matters, but in all things.—2 Corinthians 11:3.
“Lovable.” This word refers to things that are pleasant, that stir up feelings of love rather than hatred, bitterness, or conflict.—1 Peter 4:8.
“Well-spoken-of.” This phrase refers to things that would add to a person’s good reputation and that people who respect God would approve of.—Proverbs 22:1.
“Praiseworthy.” This word refers to what is commendable, especially in God’s eyes. It also includes God’s own praiseworthy deeds, which humans do well to consider.—Psalm 78:4.
Context of Philippians 4:8
The apostle Paul was under house arrest in Rome when he wrote his letter to the Philippian Christians. Nevertheless, Bible commentators describe his letter as “a letter of joy” because of its happy tone and its many expressions of warmth and affection.—Philippians 1:3, 4, 7, 8, 18; 3:1; 4:1, 4, 10.
Paul loved his spiritual brothers and sisters in Philippi, and he wanted them to have the same joy and peace that he had. (Philippians 2:17, 18) So in the final part of his letter, he encouraged them to cultivate a joyful attitude, to be reasonable, to rely constantly on God in prayer, and to focus their minds on things that promote inner peace as well as peace with God.—Philippians 4:4-9.
Watch this short video to see an overview of the book of Philippians.