Philippians 4:8 Test
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise – dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8
There is no Christian that is not engaged in some type of struggle with Satan and sin. Though every Christian is engaged in some type of struggle with Satan and sin; we can only achieve victory when we learn how to engage what is taking place on this earth through the spirit.
I want you to understand that our struggles with Satan and sin can be traced back to three areas: 1. What we read. 2. What we review. 3) Our relationships. In those three areas we need to apply what I call the Philippians 4:8 test and determine whether or not we NEED it or them. R. T. Kendall in his book Controlling the Tongue provides for us a unique acronym that I want to share with you – N.E.E.D.
We can overcome our struggles with Satan and sin once we determine whether or not we NEED to read, review,or be be in relationship with people and things around us. Here are the questions:
The first question we need to put to ourselves is, “whether it is necessary?” Is it necessary to read this email, text, article, or book? Is it necessary to watch this reality TV show, movie, or sitcom? Is it necessary to be in relationship with this individual? If yes, then answer: Why is it necessary? You may say that some things are just for entertainment. However, entertainment in our sub conscience can lead to engagement whether that be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
The second question we need to put to ourselves is, “whether it will emancipate?” Is this email, text, article, or book going to bless me or bind me? Is it going to bless others or bind others. Does this reality TV show, movie, or sitcom bless or bind? Does this relationship bless or bind? The main focus, however, is what will this do to others. The word graciousness means to overlook what might vindicate you and clear your name. You put your personal vindication in suspension in order to be gracious. Is this read, review, or relationship going to emancipate or give me the opportunity to be gracious others?
The next question we need to put to ourselves is, “what type energy will this produce?” What type of energy is produce by what I read, what I on television, or who I am in relationship. Is it producing immoral or negative energy? Is it producing moral and positive energy? If it has the remote potential to produce negative energy, trust me, you will soon live to regret it.
The fourth question you may put to yourself is, “Will I dignify myself or others by what I am reading, watching, or who I am in relationship with?” Dale Carnegie says that the greatest urge in the world is the desire to feel important. We all want and need significance. Jesus’ example was that He brought dignity to himself and others. So, put yourself in the shoes of your Savior. Would He watch this, read this, or be in this relationship?
This week I encourage you to put everything to the Philippians 4:8 test.