“Finally brethren, whatever is commendable…dwell on these things.”
— Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
The Greek word here for commendable (or good report, or good repute, or admirable in the other translations) only occurs in the New Testament once, here in this verse. It refers to things spoken in a kind spirit and with good-will toward others. It refers to things that should be commended, repeated, imitated, learned, taught, and desired.
Jesus taught us what is commendable when he said that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The most commendable thing of all is to obey the first and great commandment, “to love the Lord your God” (Matthew 22:37), and secondly, to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:38). In fact, love is the fulfillment of all the law, thus, “a new commandment [Jesus gives] to you, that you love one another: just as [he has] loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).
We learn what is commendable most vividly when we dwell on what Jesus has done. Since we are commanded again and again throughout scripture to be imitators of Christ, it is vital that we develop a joy and love for who he is and what he’s done. Jesus’ selfless love for us culminated on the cross, where we are commanded to follow.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant.
— Philippians 2:5-7 (ESV)