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Editor’s Note: Pastor Scott Peterson is sharing daily devotions written by some of his favorite authors. The author’s biography and any notes by Pastor Scott are listed at the end of the devotion.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Think about These Things

by Gerhard Frost

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  

–Philippians 4:8

I have a friend who is admired by all who know him for his wisdom  and creativity. Throughout his life he has been a voracious reader, but now his sight is failing.

Recently, he served as a resource person at a study workshop. After the workshop, I met a student who had attended, and asked, “Was he in his usual excellent form?”

“Yes,’ he answered, “I especially remember his opening remark. He was standing at the front of the room, looking out at us. We all knew that his eyesight was getting poorer. He waited for the room to become quiet, and said, ‘I can’t read much anymore, so I don’t think about as many things as I once did, and then he paused and added, But I think more!’

I think more. We seek breadth naturally. We frequently need no urging to be interested in many different things. We like to take pride in the fact that we’re always learning something new. But when our options are suddenly narrowed through illness, or accident, or some other circumstance, we find ourselves with time we never had before. Although we wouldn’t choose it, our sudden deprivation can be an act of grace. Without it, we might miss the chance to examine ourselves and reach new understanding. A crisis can help us stop, think, and absorb more fully the depths of God’s will and purpose for us. This process can move us from being simply informed to being truly wise.

Paul the apostle urges us to think selectively and with discrimination. He advises us to be less concerned about details, and to concentrate on what is true, honorable, just, pure, gracious, excellent. Our wisdom can flourish if we take the time to think about these things.

Gerhard Frost (1909 – 1988) was a Lutheran Pastor, a college and seminary professor, and a poet.  A student and friend of his described him this way, “…beloved by all who knew him. He had a Lincolnesque combination of strength and quietness about him.”  That is an apt description of Gerhard Frost when I met him in 1978.  As a guest speaker, he read his poetry at my internship congregation, Immanuel Lutheran Church, in Wadena, MN.