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Devotional: April 8, 2022

“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.”

Philippians 2: 14-16 The Message

It seems natural for some in our culture to complain. Our society is somewhat divided on many issues. Therefore, it can seem like most people have have a beef with someone else most of the time. The constant solicitation of evaluation for products and services also turns us all into critics. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would we rate our customer service?” Modern society shapes us into being constantly aware of what’s wrong, more than what’s right. With all of the complaints, is it really any wonder why some people are not happier?

Here, Paul encourages the Philippian congregation to approach things readily, and without complaint. He believes that such an attitude will be a breath of fresh air. Those who see a lack of bickering are bound to be curious. In fact, our cheerful and optimistic attitudes may be the very best evangelism tool we possess!

To be seeking the best in ourselves, and the best in others, is a novel, refreshing, and attractive approach to life. We have the opportunity to be the light in a world which is often dark. People of God, let your light shine!

This passage takes on added meaning as we approach Holy Week. Christ was very aware of the suffering he was about to endure. Yet He did not complain. He prayed. When you face a trial or difficult time in your life, is your first thought to turn to the Lord in prayer, or to pick up the phone? Sometimes, we have time to prepare for a challenge in our lives, but often we do not.

When we suddenly find ourselves in a difficult situation, let our first response be to turn to the Lord. Christ has promised us that he will be with us, regardless of the mountains we face, or the valleys. How we respond to the ups and downs of life is a living testimony. We can be the living proof that Christ’s death on the cross, and His resurrection, will help us overcome and endure any obstacle life brings to us. We can endure all things through Christ, who strengthens us. May this be our constant testimony to those around us. On a scale of 1-10, Christ will always be our 10!

Prayer

Lord of love,

Each and every day, I am given choices about how I will act and respond to people and events. Save me from my worst tendencies, when I am tempted to become the constant critic. Instead, remind me of the example of Your Son, who bore much for our sakes. And when I am overwhelmed by life, help me not to lash out. Instead, remind me to offer Christ my burdens, my worries, and my concerns. I pray this prayer in His Holy name. Amen.


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