I grew up attending a Christian school and have never experienced a public school education. I have fun making fun of myself by telling people that the only thing I know about public school is what I learned from watching Saved By The Bell. But, honestly, it makes me a bit insecure around those who have gone to a traditional public school. I often wonder if I’m cool enough or good enough for them to hang around. This is only one of the many insecurities that are my constant companions.
Fortunately, the Christian school I attended gave me some good material to combat my insecurities. That school was really big into Scripture memory, and one verse in particular came up often.
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Set just inches away from the popular verse about being able to do all things through Christ, is my archnemesis memory verse. I could never untangle the whatsoevers and the things to think on in this verse. And since it was the memory verse I could never remember correctly, I didn’t think it was all that important.
Until now, that is.
Lately, I have been learning how important it is to renew our minds (Romans 12:2) and this verse is a key component of doing that. So, instead of focusing on what makes me fearful or insecure, I’m taught that I need to focus my mind on all these things in Philippians 4:8. It can change my mind and my life.
When I do this, I like to start with what God says about me. I like to remember how important I am to Him. This applies to everyone everywhere. God showed us that our value is not wrapped up in ethnicity, gender, or social status when He met Hagar and the Samaritan woman. These are two important stories to explain everyone’s importance.
Next, I like to remember that God has a purpose for me specifically.
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Finally, I like to remember that God actually wants me around, enjoys my company, and wants to be involved in my life.
Hebrews 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The beauty of all of this is that you can have your own special sequence of topics and verses that will encourage you. Whether you’re hurt, discouraged, fearful, or anything else, God can give you the truth that meets your specific need when you set out to renew your mind.
I encourage you to take the time to allow Philippians 4:8 to be a guideline for how you think. I’m just beginning this journey and I’m excited to see how this shapes my future. So, I guess Philippians 4:13 was right after all: I can learn this memory verse.
by - Shaleena Quinlan