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
Have you ever received the reply "Whatever!" to something? Possibly from a bored teenager with an accompanying eye roll. It was an indifferent exasperated response to something they considered as being a bother or insignificant. For example, you might have said to your child, "We are going back-to-school clothes shopping this afternoon." To which you receive the, "Whatever!" You can't tell from the one-word response whether they didn't want to go or simply didn't want to go with you.
Paul uses whatever quite differently in today's text, not with indifference or apathy, but expressing positive and uplifting things. These are the Whatever's that lead us to righteousness; these are the praiseworthy attributes. Whatever is true, noble, proper, pure, lovely -- anything that is admirable.
When Paul says we are to think on these things, he means we are to take action. In verse 9, he continues, "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice." It is more than just thinking happy, pleasant thoughts; we are to be doers!
God of the Whatever, we praise you for the path to righteousness. Whatever we do today, may we do it with enthusiasm and for your glory. May our acts be true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable in your sight. Amen.