Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:1-9
Enough! I haven’t done it on purpose, but I’ve managed to disconnect from most social media. So if you want me to know something, don’t count on Facebook. Don’t send me a tweet. Don’t try to connect on FB Messenger. I just don’t go there. It’s one of the few bad habits I’ve managed to ditch. I’m not tethered to social media. It also allows me to keep my mind on good, honorable, lovely, and commendable things.
But funny thing: I don’t always think on those things. It’s still all too easy to go down a less godly and less edifying path. The reminder to think of good things is very apropos for me. I can still manage to think of the more seemly things even without all the hype of social media.
Having said that, I do wonder whether an inventory on social media consumption is in order. I’ve noticed that a lot of people get worked up over Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, Confederate monuments, names, and flags. I see never-Trumpers rail against the President and Trump supporters return the salvo. It’s to be expected. But it’s not good just because it’s expected.
That brings me to “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” That’s a choice we need to make consciously. That’s an intentional effort. Couple that with the rest of his thought: “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Do you have an example to look to? Is there someone who embodies peace, grace, truth, love, kindness, and joy? Might you put into practice her habits? Maybe you could follow his example. In any case, there is a promise for those who take this urging seriously: “and the God of peace will be with you.” That’s a pretty good promise.
I don’t think the God of Peace is likely to be found in a social media post. The profound nature of his being cannot be limited to 244 characters. But when we think of good things, and follow good examples, his presence is not only promised, it becomes a wonderful blessing.