Acknowledge the Admirable 

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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. Philippians 4:8

E. Stanley Jones said: “My mind was made for his thought, my will for his purposes, my emotions for his love.” To this end Paul gives us some things to set our minds on. We’ve come now to the sixth of eight categories of such items: “whatever is admirable.” 

What sort of persons deserve your admiration? I mean, whom do you highly regard and respect?

The people I admire are not necessarily the most gifted of souls, those with the most talent as performers on a stage or an athletic field. While I appreciate the work of the Rembrandts, Mozarts, Steph Currys, and Denzel Washingtons; I can’t say that I admire them as humans. If I knew more about their person maybe I would. Certainly, it brings me the pleasure to observe their amazing abilities that contribute to what is “lovely” or “excellent” in the world. And so I muse about what they produced, but not necessarily admire them as people, if that makes sense.

As a teacher/preacher you’d think I’d admire others in that line of work, your Tim Kellers, your Billy Grahams, your Charles Spurgeons. Again, I appreciate what they have produced, and do think highly of their books and sermons and their kingdom impact in the world. But if we’re talking preachers, the ones I admire most are those with tiny congregations in rural America that have labored in their communities for decades with little to show for it except their integrity and track record of loving God and people.

I admire those who could be making six figures as doctors or lawyers or engineers and live in huge houses by the beach, but take their skills to Haiti and serve the poor or to Thailand and help trafficking survivors or to Kenya and provide potable water sources. Faithful and wise mothers and grandmothers have earned my admiration. Dads and grandpas too, but to me there’s something especially admirable about how the fairer sex invests in their progeny.

Anyway, whom do you admire and emulate? Take a moment and meditate on the qualities they possess that have earned your admiration.


If you haven’t already, take a look at the earlier things to think about: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely.

Stay tuned for “Contemplating the Excellent”

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