Sunday, April 15, 2012

Paul’s example of joy (Philippians 2:14-18)

"Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me." -Philippians 2:14-18

The mental definition of a believer in a lot of people’s minds these days would probably be someone who complains about everything being the way it shouldn’t be. They are those people who would like to force everyone to do things that way that they would like for them to be done. The ones who want to impose their idea of “the best” on everyone else.

Can you imagine a world where everyone was happy and fulfilled living their lives exactly the way that they were intended to without the need for chemical stimulation, sexual stimulation, gambling, cheating or self-destruction? No? Neither can anyone else because the people who should be shining as an example of that are too busy complaining about everyone who isn’t.

Maybe we ought to take a page from Paul’s message to the Philippians here and focus on the Gospel and our sacrificial, spiritual service of worship. Perhaps we ought to try the attitude of joy on for a change instead of superior bitterness. Then perhaps the love of Christ would shine through and actually change the world that so many find offensive. Because the thing that seems to be making the biggest impression on the world about believers at the moment are those dirty rags of self-righteousness covering pharisaical frowns.

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