In economic terms, commodities are the unprocessed or partially processed goods required to create a finished product.
In Philippians 4, we have a checklist of eight spiritual commodities essential in the development of a follower of Jesus.
One major roadblock to building a life of faith is incorporating our former ways of thinking and living into this new lifestyle. Doing so creates tension between your faith and the fruit of faith.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63
In verse eight, the phrase “think on these things” is more than mere thinking. It’s plotting a course according to the object of your thoughts.
There is a direct connection between actions and thoughts, so we have to change our thinking if our actions are going to change.
Eight Spiritual Commodities
#1 True and honorable.
This is a matter of our integrity. Integrity is “what I do.”
The word true in the original text is “alethes” which means trustworthy, dependable. Something that has been tested.
“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” Matthew 5:37
Do what you say and say what you will do!
Honorable means not arrogant, reputable, dignified.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
Our words and actions should bring hope and encouragement, not box people into failure.
#2 Just and Pure.
These are a matter of our character, who I am. When our character and integrity are misaligned, we become a hypocrite.
The word just is defined as that which is right.
When Paul uses this word, it is usually in the sense of righteousness. It speaks of our new nature in Christ and has implications on how we relate with others.
The word pure comes from the Greek word hagios and is defined as innocent and without deceit, holiness. Righteousness and holiness are two qualities that we can only obtain from God.
Upon salvation, you have been made positionally holy and are called to “be holy because I (God) am holy,” 1 Peter 1:16.
As men or women redeemed and restored into God’s image, our character matters because we are modeling God’s image to the world.
#3 Lovely and Commendable.
This is a matter of how we relate to others.
Lovely comes from the Greek word “prosphiles” and is defined as that which calls forth love.
Because we have experienced God’s unconditional love, we are to reciprocate that love in attitude and action.
Commendable means being of good report, spoken well-of. This commodity refers to the consistency of our life.
If other people were writing a report on you, what would it say? Are you living in a way that others can say, “yeah, they are a pretty good person? He/she is reliable?”
As a Christian, we should exude goodness because God has given us a new nature, a nature aligned with who He is.
#4 Excellence and Praiseworthy.
These virtues are a matter of our connection to God.
The word excellence comes from the word “arete” which means superior, pleasing to God and goodness in action.
Faith living is not about just getting by or doing the bare minimum; it’s about giving our all and doing our best at everything we do.
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:23
The final virtue, praiseworthy, means worthy of praising God.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Unbelievers may not burst into spontaneous praise, but they will see faith at work in your life and how the peace of God and His joy in us, no matter our circumstances.
Living by faith is impossible without the Holy Spirit and God’s Word empowering and directing our actions.
Dedicate yourself to these eight spiritual commodities so that you can experience the fruit of faith living as God’s word promises.