Do you ever wonder, “What will set me apart from my peers? How will people know I am a follower of Christ?” You can plaster Bible verses on your school binder, talk about attending church, or invite a classmate to a gospel night, but your testimony is void if you have a sour attitude about school, homework, or your parents. Your attitude must reflect the Lord’s example of holiness and godliness.
As Christians, we are held to a higher standard because we are commanded to “be holy, for [God] is holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). Our heart attitude–whether we are students or employees, volunteers or leaders–is most reflected through the way we conduct ourselves through our speech and actions. When under pressure, we can choose to complain, grumble, and gossip, or we can strive to work our hardest. It is especially difficult when our environments have a huge influence on our attitudes. I can attest to adopting a grumbling attitude and feeling a sense of entitlement because of the influence of those around me. The best way to curb our attitude is by having the right focus in our thought life.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:8-9, ESV).
The pursuit of holiness is a daily fight for the mind. Everything we do begins with our thoughts. Our thoughts give way to our desires, emotions, and ultimately our lifestyles. Setting our minds on holy and godly things, such as in Philippians 4:8, will lead to a holy and godly life. Dwelling on trivial things will, in turn, lead to a trivial life. Therefore, this passage should guide our lifestyle. We should desire to possess these eight virtues not only because we are commanded to, but most importantly, because they are pleasing to God.
Devotional in reference to sermon given at the Crossroads Ministry of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley on January 12, 2014.
- What do you dwell on throughout the day?
- How can you guard your mind to focus on the virtues listed in Phil. 4:8-9?
Written by Stacy Ho. Artwork by Katherine Yao