Daily Archives: July 23, 2012

Psalms 67,71; Philippians 2

1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out[c] the word of life” (Phillipians 2:1-4,12-16a)

As I read and read these popular passages, I know that these are the verses I need to focus on today. Very practical advice. I think we all stumble over phrases such as “consider others better than yourselves” and “Do everything without complaining or arguing”. I don’t think we have trouble understanding that we need to not put ourselves above others, but consider others better than us? All others?  And “do everything without complaining or arguing”? Did Paul really mean everything? I mean, I know that I should generally not be arguing or complaining, but do everything that way? Now that I think about what I tend to argue and complain about, I can see how I am not considering others better than myself.

Now, I really do like the result of all of this….  I do want to become blameless and pure. I love being called a child of God. I do want to shine like a star in the universe!

Maybe this is where I remember that I truly do need God’s strength to do all those things that are against my nature. While that is always true, one other thing stands out to me now…  “being one in spirit and purpose”. I do know that it is much easier to accomplish things if I understand the underlying purpose. At work I am always asking questions about assignments I am given. I need to understand the purpose of something before I can work on it with any sort of intensity or great effort. And I have experienced the power of a team all working toward a single purpose.

I remember Rick Warren saying that our primary purpose is to glorify God. (Well at least I think he said that…) I’m sure complaining and arguing don’t bring God much glory! It really is all about God, not us. If I remember that, it should be natural to consider others better than myself and to not complain or argue.

Lord, let my arguing and complaining be a red flag that something is not right. Help me understand your purpose in everything I do. Help me to remember that it is all about you and your purposes, and bringing you glory, first and foremost.

suegraff

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