Summer soul refresher: Whatever is commendable

“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” —Hebrews 13:15

You’re reading part 6 of the six-week Summer Soul Refresher series from BGEA.

Part 1: Whatever is true
Part 2: Whatever is honorable
Part 3: Whatever is just
Part 4: Whatever is pure
Part 5: Whatever is lovely


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.
—Philippians 4:8 (ESV)

As we conclude our study of Philippians 4:8, we’re focusing on whatever is commendable.

To be “commendable” is to be exemplary, admirable or worthy of praise.

When you think of someone who’s worthy of praise, who comes to mind? A famous musician? Your favorite athlete? A doctor who saves lives?

>> People often praise and worship idols instead of God. What exactly is an idol? Read Billy Graham’s answer. 

To be commendable in the eyes of the world is to have success. The world praises those who leave their mark on society through great achievements they make within their lifetimes. We tend to admire people who are successful because they are loved and praised by many. We may even be proud of our own successes.

It’s fine to look up to influential people in society and to strive for excellence in our own lives, but God’s measure of success looks different than ours. What is impressive to the world isn’t necessarily what pleases God—He has entirely different standards.

God is concerned with the state of your heart (1 Samuel 16:7), not your résumé, accomplishments or popularity.

>> It’s good to have role models, but Jesus is the only perfect one. Read more from Billy Graham.

When you accept Christ into your heart and make Him the center of your life, the Holy Spirit transforms you and renews you completely. God puts a new heart and a new spirit within you (Ezekiel 36:26) and you become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Such a special calling and transformation in your life also comes with higher standards for living. Leviticus 20:26 says, “You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.”

As God’s people, we are called to be holy—that is, set apart from the world. We must put to death what is earthly in us (Colossians 3:5) and instead put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, patience and above all else, love (Colossians 3:12). Genuine faith produces inward and outward holiness—and that’s what makes you commendable in God’s eyes.

>> Want to learn more about what it means to be holy? Read this article on choosing holiness.

But we aren’t expected to be holy without anyone to look up to as an example.

Jesus was sent into the world to accomplish many things; one was to be an example which we are to imitate (Ephesians 5:1). Christ epitomizes what it means to be true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable. He lived an exemplary life, one that is worthy of praise 2,000 years later and forevermore.

>> How can I be an example of Christ for my family? Read Billy Graham’s answer.

Billy Graham once said, “If you want to know what God is like, then take a look at Jesus Christ.” Jesus was sent to be your role model and an example to follow. He is perfect, blameless and the only One who is truly commendable and worthy of our worship.

>> Have you given your life to Christ? Learn how to accept Christ into your life.