aug 30

Sometimes, I believe that life would be a whole lot easier if there were a measuring stick that would help me make decisions. The apostle Paul gives us a great reference when we get stuck in a rut. In his Letter to the Philippians, Paul provides a list of things that we can review when it is time to make a decision. Here is what he suggested:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8–9

Using the criteria in Paul’s list, I can look at what I need to decide and determine if it is

  • truereal or genuine
  • honorablehaving honesty and moral character
  • justagreeing with what is morally right
  • pureclean and not harmful in any way
  • lovelybeautiful in a graceful way
  • commendableworthy of confidence
  • excellentextremely high quality
  • praiseworthyworthy of praise and respect

While every decision may not be easy, it is good to know that God will be there as we live out the results. Better yet, He forgives our sins and shortcomings and renews us through the power of Christ’s death on the cross and His glorious resurrection.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, in Your Word, You encourage me to ask when I have questions. You tell me to seek You when I am lost. You promise me that You will always be there for me. Help me to use Your Word as the ultimate guide in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Jennifer Probst—Gathering Planner—St. James Lutheran, Lafayette, IN

Copyright © 2016 Concordia Publishing House. Scripture: ESV®.

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LCMS Youth Ministry leads, serves, resources and networks youth and adults as a community of God's people where Jesus Christ is the central focus. Every three years, LCMS Youth Ministry hosts the LCMS Youth Gathering. The 2016 Gathering marks the 13th Gathering since 1980. Learn more about other resources and events hosted by LCMS Youth Ministry at