true honourable just pure lovely
commendable excellence worthy praise
Of the hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, these words would have to be some of the most beautiful. It is not just the look of the word, the way the letters are strung together, it is the meaning of the words that give beauty.
These words describe the qualities of character and attitude to which we should aspire.
Take the words ‘commendable’ and ‘excellence’ for example. The students who won the Beazley Medals and other awards for academic achievement in 2011 are to be highly commended. Their reward did not come from a vacuum, but from months and years of hard work. They striven for excellence and achieved it.
How honourable is the Iranian man who, imprisoned for not converting from Christianity to Islam, remains faithful and true to what he believes. Even in the face of death, God forbid it come to that, he remains faithful.
The purity of little babies. I have two ‘newish’ grandsons: one is around three months old, the other just turned one. The one year old can be a little scamp at times, but when he cuddled a toy lamb the other day, butter just would not melt in his mouth. Little DanDan has not yet reached scampish age. His beautiful smiles and gurgles just make the world a wonderful place to be.
Each morning I wake to the sound of magpies carolling ‘quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle’ (Denis Glover). It is one of the loveliest sounds in nature. This morning I stood at my bedroom window and watched the maggies warbling. They are fascinating creatures.
And as I ponder on the word ‘just’, I am assured that I am legally justified as I stand before my maker. Christ, the righteous, stood in my place and took my punishment for my sin. While this was entirely unjust for Jesus, it has worked for my benefit. How grateful I am to my God. He alone is worthy of praise.
The apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8-9 encouraged us to think about these things: whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise.
He went on to say: What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practise these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Paul had so much good stuff to say. He was obviously a person who took his own advice and dwelt mainly on what was worth dwelling on.