Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 2- Philippians 1:27a

"Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." Philippians 1:27a (NIV)

WHATEVER- The word really sticks out. Especially in our culture today where it is often used as a brush off as if to say "so what, I 'm not listening, you don't matter." In this context, though, it is directly the opposite. It is of the utmost importance. Whatever- as in the phrase "in everything." Contextually, this shows up again in Philippians 4 when it talks about the circumstances NOT to worry in. There it says (paraphrased) Don't worry about anything, but in everything pray with thanks. Anyway, I digress. WHATEVER- In every circumstance: good, bad, happy, sad, exciting, mundane, easy, hard, once-in-a-lifetime, or everyday humdrum. No matter what, behave "as if" your are worthy of the sacrifice of Christ.

Now that is a thought- actually 2 thoughts.

First thought:  I am wrestling with the idea of "conduct yourself in a manner worthy." No matter how I read it, it feels like it means to behave "as if." i have heard this a lot in Christian circles. It comes out in different ways. "Fake it 'til you make it." "If you act as if you feel better than you do, you will begin to feel better." And other timeless 'wisdom?' What I struggle with is the fine line between acting "as if" because we know it is true even if we don't feel it and being inauthentic. I think one of the most devastating and often accurate claims against Christians is that of being fake. There is a long history of pretending. We doctor it up in nice phrases. We say all kinds of things and pretend that things don't affect us like other people who are not believers because we don't want to seem "worldly". Unfortunately, this often translates to those who are watching us as if we are fake, self-deceiving, lying, and/or many other sad perceptions. So, I struggle with how to be honest, authentic, truthful, and still be able to honestly articulate the truth that God is greater than our most dire situation and even when I don't feel it, I choose to trust.

Second thought: I struggle with how to in each and every moment, be submissive to the "good news" of Jesus sacrifice for me. Some moments, I find it easy to be grateful for God's gift of His son. It is much less difficult in those moments I recognize my need for mercy and grace. It is much more difficult when changing a diaper or doing dishes (I hate dishes) to be understanding of how I am to act "worthy of the gospel of Christ." How does one recognize the significance of the suffering of Christ, the death of Christ, and the separation from God of Christ in my place in the everyday mundane or even joyous, easy moments of life?  It is the "in the moment" replacing my thoughts of the present time and circumstances with the present impact of the love, forgiveness, and hope gifted to us by Jesus in His sacrifice.

What are your thoughts on the verse? Any answers for my questions? Looking forward to your thoughts.


1 comment:

  1. Two wonders I confess: The wonder of His glorious love and then secondly, my unworthiness - my own worthlessness - made worthy by His blood, His cross! What wondrous love is this!