Philippians 2:14-16 New Living Translation
“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.”
What makes believers in Christ different than the world? Scripture says the world will know we’re followers of Christ by our love toward one another (John 13:35). The Philippian church members were apparently doing as their Old Testament counterparts had done; they were grumbling and complaining against the leadership & bickering among themselves. A practice that still goes on today.
The Bible teaches us that our lives as Christians should display moral uprightness, patience & a peace that this world will never understand (Philippians 4:7). The interest of non-believers may be piqued if, regardless of our circumstances, we are positive, encouraging, non-judgmental & exhibit kindness. People will be drawn to that because it’s what they want deep down inside. If we act like the world, we will draw no one. However, it is not our purpose to draw them in per se, as much as it is to be real, honest & straightforward with all we encounter. Our lives are to present an alternative while the Holy Spirit draws them in. Many folks see Christians as hypocrites and that may largely be true, but it’s not entirely true. We can’t negate the ill will some Christians have produced in this world, but if we are ourselves & allow the Lord to use us just as we are, the way he made us & intended for us to be, then we have an excellent chance to minister peace & hope to a generation that has lost their way.
Paul’s letter to the believers in Philippi was a thank you note for a gift they had sent him & also was to be a source of encouragement by showing them that true joy comes in Christ alone. In spite of persecution & the mocking for our faith, we must stand tall in the face of it to firmly establish our witness to this sin-sick world. Show the world you are not a phony, but very real & some will listen & turn away from their sin. It’s what we are called to do. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resources: The Life Application Study Bible; The Reformation Study Bible.