Is there anything in my life that I spend time thinking or doing that is not true, honorable, pure, just, lovely, commendable, excellent or worthy of praise? Um...yes. Is the time I spend shopping online worthy of praise? Are the earthly dreams I have about earthly things excellent? Sometimes we wrestle with our thoughts and actions- is God pleased when I do these things. Most of the time it can be very obvious, but other times, we fight our convictions and try to justify what we are thinking or doing. Also, sometimes we fight the spiritual battle of Satan trying to discourage us from what we should be doing. Verse 8 is a great text to test what it is you are doing and thinking. Is what I am doing true? Is what I am doing honorable? Is what I am doing pure? Is what I am doing just? Is what I am doing lovely? Is what I am doing commendable? Is what I am doing excellent? Is what I am doing worthy of praise?
Again, Paul encourages people to imitate him in what he has taught and practiced. That is a very honorable thing- and it's a great thing to ask God to work out in each of us. I can't say that my life reflects goodness so much that I can tell people to do what I do.
Challenging myself, I ask myself these questions: Am I content in the Lord enough that no matter what situation He alone is enough? Do I truly believe I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength?