Whatever Is Right – That Which Duty Demands

February 21st, 2024 – Wednesday Afternoon

“Finally, brethren…whatever things are right…” ~Philippians 4:8a,c

This next layer of the “thinking filtration system” God has given us seems pretty straightforward…until our thinking is clouded by the deceitfulness of sin, the pride of our flesh, and the snares of the devil. Think of all the ways that what is “right” can be distorted: “Might makes right”, “What’s right for you is right for me”, “What’s right for you isn’t right for me”, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes”, etc., etc., etc. Throughout the course of human history, it has become (and probably always was) painfully obvious that there must be a standard definition of what is right or everything eventually falls apart.

Thankfully, there is a standard definition for what is right; God has revealed this standard to us in Himself and His Word. Furthermore, He has ingrained into every human being some sense of this standard of what is right; that sense has been affected by the sinful nature and it is easily desensitized and twisted, but it is there nonetheless. This is not to say that what is right is subjective; quite the contrary, the natural twisting reminds us of our need to be constantly confronting our flesh with the reality of who God is and what He says.

So, what is God’s standard of right? First off, based on the meaning of the word used by Paul in this verse, “right” has a wide sense of what is “upright, righteous, virtuous,” and “keeping the commands of God”. In the particular usage in our passage, it carries with it “that which regard for duty demands, what is right”. Therefore, thinking on whatever is right means that we filter out, block, destroy, or transform everything in our thinking and thoughts that is not righteous, upright, virtuous (acting in conformity to the moral law), and in keeping with the commands of God; it should cause us to consider: What does true worship of God demand in this situation, context, thought, or conversation? What is right according to God’s standard, His truth and righteousness, and in how He expects and equips me to think and live as His child?

Hmmm…this filtering thing takes some work, doesn’t it? Yet, if we are going to enjoy the blessings of intimacy with our unchanging Redeemer King, and, if we are going to operate as His ambassadors and vessels of honor, we must be diligent and persistent with our thinking. Therefore, let us turn our attention to filtering out what is not right in our hearts and minds and, instead, dwelling on what is right for His glory and for our own good. He has and will equip us in every way for this task if we are willing to trust Him and submit to His authority.