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Philippians 4:8 Positive thinking does not stand alone

22-03-2023 - Posted by Hans

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is grace, whatever is jus, whatever is pure, whatever is agreeable, whatever is renowned – if there is any virtue, and if any applause, be taking these into account

Paul wrote down the above words many centuries before Norman Vincent Peale published his famous books on ‘positive thinking’. Philippi 4:8 sums it up in eight points. Note that ‘positive thinking’ does not stand alone but is an appendix (“for the rest”) to the peace of GOD that shall be garrisoning our apprehensions as in a fortress (:7). Only when we glorify and thank God as GOD does ‘positive thinking’ have a foundation. After all , He turns every ‘minus’ into a ‘plus’! In the acknowledgment of GOD, ‘positive thinking’ therefore makes perfect sense. Without GOD, “positive thinking” is just opportunism; one is riding on the positive effects while not endorsing the foundation of this thinking.

When our thoughts are kept in the peace of GOD, our thinking is positively oriented by definition. In that mindset, the eight characteristics listed in Philippi 4:8 fit perfectly. The “be taking these into account!” stands in Greek in the middle form: it is both passive and active. Because whoever thinks within the garrisoning of God’s peace cannot but think positively!