When I was a teenager, the common phrase was “whatever”. When someone frustrated you, you shrugged it off with an eye roll and “whatever”. When something didn’t go your way, you pushed past as if you didn’t care and said “whatever”. When driving on unsalted roads with snow falling quickly, you say “whatever” and convince yourself that you’re not concerned about sliding of the roads into the ditch and freezing to death. Basically “whatever” was a feeble attempt to convince those around you that the awry situation didn’t bother you because you were cooler than that. Today the word “whatever” has been tossed aside in favor of calling unliked situations and things “trash” or “garbage”. The implication still applies though; when faced with tough situations, you brush it off and move on.
Paul offers another way of dealing with the “whatever” moments. He suggests replacing those obnoxious thoughts with new “whatever” thoughts. Take a look at Philippians 4:8.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
This passage is preceded by advice about how to overcome anxiety, so it seems relevant to my high school “whatever” moments. What could induce a “whatever” more quickly than something worrying me? Instead of quelling that worry as if it didn’t exist, I can replace it with a true, honorable, just, pure, commendable, excellent, and worthy thought. No need to roll my eyes then. Instead I can lift my hands and rejoice in the God who is bigger than my worries.