Summer soul refresher: whatever is lovely

“Put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” —Colossians 3:14, ESV

“She’s a lovely person.”

Have you ever used those words to describe someone? Maybe it was a friend who reached out when you were sick, grieving—or just going through a hard time. Or was it a complete stranger whose caring words made you feel special and loved?

As we study Philippians 4:8 and strive to take every thought captive, let’s consider “whatever is lovely.”

Lovely generally means something that is beautiful, but in this Bible reference, it’s about loving others through pleasing thoughts, actions and conversations.

Ruth Bell Graham, Billy Graham’s beloved late wife, is remembered as a lovely woman. Ruth lived out her faith through her love for others. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:26)

“She loved God’s people, especially those who needed a helping hand, a guiding touch or a loving hug,” Franklin Graham shared shortly after his mother passed away.

He said his mother “treated everyone the way Jesus showed us. She delighted in doing things that you never heard about—cooking for a sick neighbor, teaching Sunday school and visiting the jail.”

Jesus Christ was a friend to seemingly unlovable people during His time on earth, and believers are called to imitate Him. Though we’re not all naturally compassionate and kind, we can aspire to be with God’s help.

Having the mind of Christ starts with a positive and friendly outlook toward others. See how He can transform your thoughts — and your heart — to be pleasing and lovely.