Bible Reading: Philippians 4
As Paul closes out this heartfelt letter to the Philippians, you hear the underlying theme in this chapter: ‘take responsibility for your life’.
We all have that tendency to get swamped in the motions and allow most of our lives to ‘automatedly’ unfold before us.
Paul’s writing today totally confronts that tendency in us.
I think of it as more than just the routines of a day, or of a period of my life. I’m thinking about the longer-term pictures- am I, for example, leaving the shape of the rest of this year to chance? Am I leaving the inclinations of relationships to chance? Am I leaving my career space or school life to chance? Am I just hoping that ‘something’ will happen from ‘somewhere’?
A lot of our life experiences will largely hang on the extent to which we deliberately stand up to responsibility and embrace it. In Paul’s charge about taking responsibility, you would notice it run through the entire chapter:
Be conscious about your stand in the Lord (v 1)
Be conscious about resolving relationship disputes (v. 2)
Be conscious about the people who need your help (v 3)
Be conscious about your emotional/soul inclinations (v 4)
Be conscious about keeping a right attitude (v 5)
Be conscious about asking for God’s help with your needs and anxieties (v. 6-7)
Be conscious about rightly channeling your thoughts (v 8)
Be very conscious about learning from those we look up to (v 9)
Be conscious about expressing honour and generosity and partnering in the gospel (v 10, 14-16, 18)
Be consciously learning in all circumstances (v 11 – 12)
Be conscious about your strength source (v 13)
Be conscious about desiring the progress of others (v 17)
Be conscious about worshipping God (v 20)
Be conscious about reaching out to others (v 21-23)
Let’s choose to be people who refuse to leave the details of our lives to chance and feelings. Let’s hold out a consciousness that stems out of responsibility.
If you were to write out your own Philippians Chapter 4, what are some key areas of your life that you really need to be conscious and on the front foot about, especially in the second half of the year? And what does that consciousness look like in your context?
A life left to chance is one left to be destroyed and wasted.