Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8 VOICE)
Is it just possible some of the awful things which happen these days are because we have filled our minds with things not so very beautiful and/or truthful? What lies do we believe, simply because we were told them and we didn't do the work to validate them? What untruths do we propagate simply because we repeat them, not really thinking about what could be at the root of what we are repeating? What sinister plans do we have in mind when we do some of the things we do in the name of this or that cause? I start today with a bunch of questions because I think we don't do a very thorough job of asking the questions in life which help to perpetuate the beautiful or the truthful! Maybe we need to ask those questions of ourselves - and we definitely need to ask those questions when we see, hear, or sense things from others which may not quite pass the "sniff test" upon closer examination!
In order to have "filled minds" they must first be open to being filled. I can place an empty capped jar under water for a long time and it will remain empty despite being immersed fully. As with the jar, whether it be truth attempting to get in, or some manner of untruth, it cannot penetrate the empty space allocated for memory or thought processing because it can remain completely closed. If I slightly loosen that lid on the jar, it is quite possible while remaining immersed in that watery condition long enough, some of the water may seep into the space inside that jar, but it can take a long, long time. A similar thing happens to us almost unnoticed when it comes to our minds and thoughts. We can be so immersed, slightly open to receiving new ideas, when over the course of time those ideas begin to work their way into our minds without us hardly noticing. It is the result of space being available and a means of entry being created (even though it is quite slight).
Maybe this is why it is so easy for us to become affected by ideals not really all that "correct" or "right" for us to embrace. It isn't so much that we went after those beliefs, standards, or activities as much as that we were eventually affected by them because we allowed ourselves to be immersed in them without filling the empty space with the right stuff in the first place. Paul reminds us to fill our minds - a continual process - with the things which will help to guard against the stuff which shouldn't find any inroad into our lives. These are the things which are honorable (worthy of respect, creditable, of the highest quality, upright) and right (in accordance with what is just and good). They are the qualities and attributes, standards and beliefs which are pure (straightforward, unblemished) and lovely (of the highest moral standard). These are the things we don't want just "seeping in", but rather coming in with a gush until we are filled to the brim and then overflowing with the stuff! Virtuous and praiseworthy thoughts emanate from lives filled with these things. Just sayin!