Whatsoever Things Are Lovely

Michael Beck

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:8,9)

Things both lovely and horrific have attractive power. In Ancient Rome, the spectacle of human beings being torn apart, limb from limb, was the hottest show in town. Bloodlust can take hold of the spirit. Today, our fascination with evil brings us to videos where people are being injured or killed. Wouldn’t it be better to see videos of people being kind to each other?

There is something perverse in wanting to see the moment tragedy or suffering strikes a fellow human being. If you are a policeman investigating a crime or there is a call to the public to identify a perpetrator who is still on the loose, that is understandable; but if not, what is the purpose for looking at gory images of someone else’s misfortune? Do you really need any further proof that the world is a wicked place where bad things happen?

Violence voyeurism is detrimental to our soul. It fuels anger, hatred, and depression over the current state of the world. Spirits of fear also breach our soul through trauma. We need to be careful what things we think on or the God of peace will not be with us. Guarding our heart begins with guarding our eyes.

Beware of letting certain images into your mind – you will have a hard time getting rid of them. They will find ways to revisit you. They are the stuff of nightmares. Think on “whatsoever things are lovely.”

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.