The Wisdom of Socrates – The Story of the Three Sifters

Someone once asked the great philosopher Socrates, “Do you know what people say about you?”

Socrates replied, “Wait a minute. Filter everything you say through three sifters.”
Friend: “Three sifters?”
Socrates: “Yes. The first sifter is TRUTH. Are you SURE what you are about to tell me is the true?”
Friend: “No, I just heard it.”
Socrates: “Let’s try the second sifter – the sieve of GOOD. Do you want to tell me something good?”
Friend: “No, the opposite.”
Socrates: “Then let’s try the sifter of USEFULNESS. Do I really need to hear what you want to tell me?”
Friend: “No, it’s not necessary.”
Socrates: “Well then” he concluded, “What you are about to tell me is not good, true, or necessary. So why bother telling me it at all?”

There is a great deal of wisdom in that story. And in this one:

Philippians 4:8 “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. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

You can read the rest of this chapter online at

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