Where's Your Focus?
Paul had a long relationship with the church in Ephesus. In his letter to them he addresses theological issues in the first half and more basic, every day issues in the last half. As he begins to wind down the letter he exhorts the Christians to live as God wants them to live. He exhorts them to walk in love, control their tongues, and live clean, moral lives. He goes so far as to warn them to avoid people who consistently engage in filthy, foolish, are crude talking and jesting. In verse 12, he says, “For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.”
I first became intrigued by this verse many years ago. As I mature, both in age and spirituality, my intrigue is being replaced by other emotions: fear (am I guilty?), disgust (YUCK), confusion (what is covered by this verse and to what degree?).
I finally force myself to stop looking at the verse this way and decide to see if I can find help deciphering it from other scriptures. My search leads my back to Paul. His letter to the Philippians is one of my favorite books. The book of Philippians is so encouraging and offers so much advice on how to live a peaceful life, acceptable to God. In chapter 4:8-9, Paul writes, “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.”
There is the answer. We don’t need a list of DON’T's when we have a list of DO’s. don’t waste time wondering if something is “bad”. Is it true, honorable, commendable. excellent, AND worthy of praise?
Where is your focus?