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 NIV
Using Philippians 4:8 as a guideline during reading, try having readers ask questions like these. This is just a start—be creative:
What are the facts in the situation? (Whatever is true)
Who is involved and what values are involved in decisions that are being made? (Is the interaction noble)
How should followers of Christ think about these things? (Whatever is just)
What one word, at this point in the story, could be used to summarize the plot or the character or what the author is trying to say? Not descriptive words like “cool” or “scary,” but rather “revenge” or “maturity” or “forgiveness.” This will likely be the take-away from this reading experience.
(Whatever is pure)
What are the strengths of the decisions/the weaknesses? (Whatever is admirable, excellent)
Identify consequences of actions, situations, behaviors, etc. (Whatever is lovely)
What is the potential if everyone or everything lived, behaved, acted as the main character or as the antagonist did? What would the world impact be if everybody did such and such?
(Whatever is praiseworthy)
Thinking “on these things” develops a discernment “muscle” that grows stronger with practice. Quality books facilitate this growth and will foster an appetite for more.
Have you tried this? We’d love to hear how this guideline for thinking impacted your reader’s experience.