Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Philippians 4:8 – NIV)

In a Mafalda comic strip, Felipe is seen walking through a park. There he meets Miguelito, and as he passes near him he sees that he bends down, runs a finger across the floor, lifts it up dirty and exclaims loudly:

Mafalda is right, this planet in which we live is fading.”.

Then Felipe walks away in surprise as he thinks:

The bad thing about always having your ears to the ground is that you are exposed to hear things like this”.

And you don’t have to go very far to see how true this statement is. You only have to open a newspaper or listen to a news program to see it.

Politicians of one or the other sign who affirm one day the opposite of what they affirmed the day before; or who disqualify the adversary for doing the same thing they boasted about in the past.

Anyone who thinks differently is an enemy to be defeated, or better yet, to be swept away and eliminated from public life.

That is why, among other things, the church is persecuted when it presents the message of salvation.

Especially when it warns the world that, no matter how hard he tries, it will not be his actions that will bring life, peace and true freedom to mankind, but only pain, confrontation and anguish.

Because those, life, peace and freedom can only come from Christ, when from repentance we accept his sacrifice and lordship.

The bad thing about this state of tension in which we live is that the church is not being influential. Respect and temperance in dealing with others is not being promoted. On the contrary, it is falling into the same trap of contention and confrontation.

It is regrettable to see the large number of publications that are uploaded to social networks in defense of doctrinal positions that have nothing to do with the essential principles of Salvation.

Aggressive debates in which they disqualify each other in aggressive ways; when not directly devoid of any sense of respect and consideration that, as children of God, we owe each other.

After all, the Lord Jesus himself left us the words in Matthew 5:22, with a very strong message: But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Of course we may disagree, and of course we may be wrong. But being wrong is no justification for disqualifying or being personally disqualified.

I hope this is not what they intend, but the image conveyed by those who do so is that they are more concerned with maintaining a presumed status of spiritual superiority than with transmitting to the world the life, peace and freedom of which we boast so much.

With the aggravating factor that, in time, this attitude of being against everything and everyone will fill their hearts with bitterness.

And the world sees these things. And with this we are giving him more arguments to deny God.

The church at Philippi ran the risk of falling into the same trap. Therefore, when the apostle Paul writes his epistle to this church, he exhorts them to seek unity, to support one another generously, to turn away from murmuring and to receive trials with joy.

So it is not surprising that, in his farewell, Paul addresses to them the words we find in the epistle to the Philippians, chapter 4 and verse 8: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Christians are not called to stir up the garbage or ungodliness in which those who rebel against God live.

It is true that we must expose injustice and work to eliminate it; but let us remember that Jesus sent us throughout the world to preach the Gospel, not a pretended spiritual superiority.

Nor even less to judge other Christians according to our criteria or our calling; as if a specific calling makes us better than others, or our criteria are always correct.

Therefore, Paul exhorts the Philippians to occupy their minds with everything that promotes unity and respect among believers. And, by extension, to put ourselves in the right attitude to fulfill our duty: to be God’s ambassadors.

Let us think of the things that are true, and forget the fables and tales of this world that, with its follies, seeks only to divide us and generate confusion.

Let us think about honest things, and let us think honestly, without excusing our wrong behaviors.

Let us think about what is just and what is pure, and let us not put into the mouths of others what they have not said, nor presuppose intentions that have not been manifested.

Let us think of all that is kind, of all that is of good name, and let us act in this way with those around us, fleeing from murmuring and pride.

And let us think of virtuous things, of things worthy of praise, and let us recognize the value of the things of God, as well as the effort and work of those around us.

Because only then will our minds be filled with gratitude to God, humility and joy, and because only then will we be able to make the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:45 come true: …that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

God bless you.

Photo by John Price on Unsplash
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