“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” If the Christian is to control the thought life, he must place God’s thought structure into his mind. Paul listed nine areas around which the Christian should focus his thinking. Euodia and Syntyche’s thoughts shreded each other with hatred and bitterness. They held those thoughts so long that resentment became a part of their thinking. Resentment became an attitude.
The way to counter negative attitudes is with positive biblical attitudes. Their focus was not God centered. Paul was asking them to refocus their thoughts to the way God thinks. The first area of restructuring their thought life was the category of that which is “true.”
“whatever things are true”
This is not simply something that is true as over against that which is fictitious or false. “True” here is truth in the widest sense, true in the sense of valid, reliable, or honest. It includes motives and conduct. “True” involves anything that is reliable or consistent with God’s character.
God wants us to think about His Word so that we can change our lives. The more we apply God’s truth to our experience, the more we grow. It allows thinking about life from God’s viewpoint.
When a thought comes into our minds, we should subject it to the test of whether it is true. Is it worthy of consideration? Does it ring true? Do the things to which we give attention ring true to God’s Word or do they twist God’s view of things?
If Syntyche allowed her thought life to focus on misrepresenting Euodia, the chasm would widen between them. Honesty is the first step to true healing. If Euodia developed the sense that Syntyche was fair with her, there would be greater likelihood of her giving ear to what Syntyche was saying. Confidence in the other person’s sense of fairness is a sound platform for building a good relationship. If trust did not exist between them, the breach would continue to widen. If Euodia exaggerated Syntyche’s every flaw or shortcoming, Syntyche would distance herself further from Euodia.
Truth is a building block of a good relationship. Truth builds trust between people.
Are you fair in the way you deal with people in your life? Instead of honestly facing what they may say to you, do you justify your position at all costs? Do you manipulate the truth to make yourself look better? Are you secure enough to face your flaws? Are you truthful with yourself? Have you rationalized your position so much that those close to you no longer attempt to deal with the issue any more?