“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” — Philippians 4:8
In John 4:4-42, I find the woman at the well to be most fascinating. When seen through the eyes of different biblical commentators and teachers, we can see her as a lonely, scandalous, provocative and independent woman. But what did Jesus see? Did He see a woman worthy of a personal encounter with the King of kings? Did He see uncommon boldness as she engaged in a discussion with a thirsty man when society would have discouraged such a conversation? Did He see a woman who would not settle for knowing of God if she could know God? Did He see an undiscovered evangelist?
Jesus, the word of God in flesh, shows us the impact of living the words we read in Scripture, for He saw in the woman what was true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable and worthy of praise. In doing so, He gives her the opportunity to walk into her true identify.
So, who will we see when the kid plays ball in the streets, the man of color approaches on the sidewalk, or the older woman sits alone on the park bench? Will we bring out, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, the better angels of their nature?
Let us live out Philippians 4:8 today the way Jesus showed us at Jacob’s Well and speak of what is praiseworthy in those we meet.
Our God hears,