Monday, January 23, 2012

As A Man Thinketh So He Becomes

"Think On These Things"

Finally, brothers, 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).

Most of the time this verse from Philippians is looked at from the perspective of the lists of things that we should be thinking about.  I would like to flesh out the definition of the word "think." Below is some random thoughts on the word "think."

1. Eight out of ten Bible translations translate the Greek word (logizomai) as"think." One of the ten translate the Greek (logizomai) as "dwell," while the other version translates it as "thoughts." NIV-think, NLT-think, ESV-think, KJV-think, NIV-think, ASV-think, YLT-think, WEB-think, NASB-dwell, GWT-thoughts.

2. logĂ­zomai (the root of the English terms "logic, logical") – properly, compute, "take into account"; reckon (come to a "bottom-line"), i.e. reason to a logical conclusion (decision).

3. Here is a list of how various commentaries translated or expound on the word "think" in Philippians 4:8:

-Object of your careful attention
-Observe them
-Esteem them highly
-Seriously consider them
-Reason with yourselves about them
-Have a continual regard to
-Make them the subject of your thoughtful consideration or carefully reflect on them

4. The Greek word in Philippians 4:8 is in a verb form---now we know that a verb means action---you can see from the list above that it requires a deliberate, intentional, commitment of the person to engage themselves with the eight virtues that are listed in our text.

Closing thoughts: Paul gives the believers in Philippi a list of eight virtues that are to be the subject of their thought life---there is no room here for the believer to be passive and to disengage his thought process. To the contrary, we are to pay careful attention to HOW and WHAT we are thinking (inner-landscape).

James Allen (November 28, 1864–1912) who was  a British philosophical writer sums it up best when he notes:
The aphorism, "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he," not only embraces the whole of a man's being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.

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