Philippians 1:27 NIV says “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the Gospel.”
What is worthy of the gospel? My walk is not perfect. But, as I move into another season, through the first half of 2020, dealing with COVID and race relations, I lean into the Word of God so that I continue to grow worthy. I know that this journey is lifelong, but it is clear and necessary for Christ followers.
I am a mom, wife, daughter, doctoral student, CEO, creative - these titles however, are only by the grace of God. He has provided me an opportunity to share the word and do good works in his name through all of these outlets. I am constantly awaiting direction, listening with my ears open and my eyes shut to the outside world. I learn more daily.
So, what is worthy of the Gospel? Here’s what it’s not:
1. It’s not making plans for ourselves without prayer and direction from God. Intentionality is critical to successfully fulfilling his will for our lives. Making plans without a relationship with Christ is a contradictory path. In every goal set, the question of what motivates our actions should be considered. Our ultimate finish line is eternity - so why deviate?
2. It’s not listening to others without validation from the Bible. So many people listen to others speak about the God without a mention of Christ, the Bible and what scripture says about their topic. I am no biblical scholar, but I know there are distractions of misinformation, misinterpretation, and misalignment. With purpose, I ask for wisdom and understanding before reading the Word of God.
3. It’s not empowerment through our own power. We are raised in a culture that teaches women, especially women of culture to be independent, to take care of themselves. And most of the time, these educational moments are received without the mention of Christ. We are not born with power. We have no breath, no life without Christ. It is through Christ alone that all things are possible, including his grace upon us as we boast about our own self-worth and achievements as if Christ was not present. Once we surrender, we have peace and purpose.
In Philippians, Paul provides guidelines and a moving perspective of what state of mind is worthy. His walk is full of struggle and suffering in the name of Christ. And, even in moments where one would lose hope, he continues to share the goodness of God.
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” Philippians 1:20 NIV.
As we walk, striving for acceptance, walking in leadership, and moving amongst those that do not know Christ, we must be very careful about the “why” and the “who” that makes all things possible.