(NIV) — Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
(KJV) 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.
Nobody can tell you what is true, or noble, or right, or pure, or lovely, or admirable. You are trusted to be able to recognize these things in your own life. And if you are an average decent human being you know what these things look like when you see them.
My challenge, is that I feel bombarded by the negatives, especially with the political climate lately. It is depressing and disgusting, so it is hard for me to always remember that MOST people, including most religious people, are not despicable assholes. But the ones who are not despicable assholes are not the ones on the evening news or the front page of the paper.
A couple months ago, while making adjustments in my home, I threw out my worn out television, thinking I had a suitable replacement. I discovered the replacement that I had did not work, so I haven’t had regular television for a couple months. I can go online to find programming I enjoy, but when I do it is by conscious choice, rather than just having the television on for noise. This has helped a lot to minimize what is coming into my environment.
But with online news and social media filling the screen with shit, I have to remember to temper it.
Yes, Kim Davis is a self-righteous, obnoxious, selfish media whore, with her little stunts. But I have to remember that out of 120 County Clerks in Kentucky, there’s only three that are being jerks, trying to force their personal religion in public policy. So that’s a good thing.
There are many other examples I could give. But my challenge is to acknowledge the shit and actively work to balance it with things that are true or noble or reputable. I don’t believe in pretending shit isn’t happening (i.e., phony-baloney mind over matter denialism), but I do believe in trying to avoid letting my mind stay focused on the shit.