Paul is not only an example of how to live, but he guides us to the virtues that God wants us to live by. These are things that do not come naturally but is something we must practice. By following these things and Paul’s example, we can be assured that God is with us. God will direct our paths and lead us to righteousness if we are His.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
What are these virtues?
- true can mean the truth or straight. Do not waiver from God’s word which is truth.
- noble is that which is honorable. Live with integrity.
- just is doing what’s righteous. Helping the helpless, being kind to others, loving justice.
- pure is obeying God and having the right heart. David was a man after God’s own heart and talked about coming before God with a pure and contrite heart. He was genuine and sincere. He used godly wisdom in his decisions and when he sinned, he repented and turned to God for forgiveness. Pure is another word for “holy”.
- lovely is a virtue of attitude. Being pleasing to others, having a good attitude, being kind, not complaining or grouchy.
- of good report or commendable is the way others see a person. Do others see you as a positive person? Are you charitable? Do you help others? Cheerful? Do they see you as courteous, kind and respectful? A genuine Christian should be a person that is a good example to others.
- praiseworthy: The things we do should honor God, and our actions should be in such a way that we and others praise and thank God for only He is worthy of it. The good things we do are because of Him.
David talked about similar virtues when describing the character of God. David shows his pure heart as he considers the law of the Lord and his desire to follow Him. By following Gods commands, there is great reward. I believe that reward comes both in this life and the life to come. That does not mean riches and earthly treasures, or even good health and an easy life. But, it does mean you will be blessed within your heart and you will be able to endure hardships and have joy in your heart. I have had these blessings. The hardships I have had were much easier to deal with when following the Lord, and He has always provided, and He has given me strength. Our God is an awesome God in so many ways!
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.