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 | By Michelle DiFranco

Words That Help Us Mind Our Words

"…Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  (Phil. 4:8)

I remember seeing that familiar verse hand-painted on a wooden sign a few years back in a bed and breakfast in which I stayed. I was so inspired by those words and loved how they were artfully displayed on the wall of the eclectic inn. But I also remember the ill feeling and guilt that washed over me seconds after pondering it.

Only slightly prior to stepping foot in the commons room of the B&B and encountering that sign, I had ventured into some rather uncharitable discourse. I had participated in gossip. Was it really an accident that I would come across such a sign highlighting the antithesis to my unjust behavior only moments after?

The Eighth Commandment says we shall not bear false witness against our neighbor. And yet what can sometimes start as the innocent sharing of “news” with our peers regarding recent events in our neighborhood, school or work can so easily fall into the self-serving and unkind slander of other people’s reputation. In my case, what I needed was a reminder. I needed something to nudge me and say, “Hey! Watch what you say about others and qualify why you are saying anything at all!” The sign at the B&B did just that.

It was my conviction that day to re-create such a sign to remind me should I be tempted again. Saints and Scripture offer plenty of inspiration to remind us how to live virtuously, so that we may one day get to heaven. For me, Philippians 4:8 was, and still is, instrumental in helping me to focus on conversation that is good, praiseworthy and uplifting. And the added bonus is another fun project and decoration for the home!

Michelle DiFranco is a designer and the busy mom of two children.

Philippians Verse Decoration

  • Wooden panel (this one measures 8”x8”)
  • 2 sheets of patterned scrapbook paper trimmed to 8 ½ “x 11”
  • Decoupage glue or spray adhesive
  • Craft brush (for applying glue)
  • Craft knife
  • Fine grit sand paper
  • Ruler
  • Cutting board
  • Printer

Layout and print quote or verse on 8 ½” x 11” sheet of scrapbook paper. Using craft knife and straight-edge ruler, trim to size of wood panel. Adhere to the face of the panel (with decoupage glue or spray adhesive). Trim other piece of scrapbook paper and adhere to sides of wood panel. Allow sign to dry completely. Sand edges for worn and distressed look. Apply a coat of decoupage glue (or polyurethane) to finish.