The Letters of Paul
The Church in Philippi was a strong and active church and had a good relationship with Paul. He still takes time to remind them of some basics of living life as the people of God.
It’s not easy to be content when things are going badly. What’s worse is that our society is structured in such a way as to promote all that is the exact opposite of contentment. If we listen to all the advertising or read all the columns we should never be satisfied with the way we look, the way we feel, the job we have, the house we live in or how much money we make. But this isn’t how the Bible thinks.
An Optical Illusion, Spiritually Speaking: Some things that seem so important to us now are really minor, fleeting things. Yet heaven, our real home and the place that gives life on earth its meaning, may hardly enter our thoughts. The closer things are much easier for us to focus on. They look bigger, but how important are they in light of eternity? In the section of Philippians, Paul explains how we can avoid falling for this trick that the world plays on our spiritual eyesight.
Why is it that not all Christians are joyful? Why is it that others seem to exude the most profound joy in the midst of the most trying circumstances? Paul addresses that very issue in the passage we are examining today. We might sum up his conclusion like this: Our joy in Christ will reach its peak only when we place our complete confidence in Him.
“Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”
– Mark Twain
This section of Philippians teaches us that we need to live lives that others can emulate. More than that, we need to remember that the example that we show the world may be the only evidence they care to see regarding the reality of faith in Jesus Christ. As Christians, we owe the world a reliable example of a well-lived life.
Disorder is more probable than order. Think of it as entropy. Attribute it to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Whatever mental category you use, disorder is more probable than order and that principle applies to churches as well as physical substances.
Unity in the church is achieved by design. If we don’t think about what we are doing as a body, disorder will be more probable than order. If we are intentional about working together and putting others before ourselves, unity will be the result.