READ: Philippians 1:3-11
- The very essence of what Paul says in verses 9-10 is captured by the word intentionality. You can’t actually do what Paul suggests without forethought and effort. We don’t stumble into discernment and excellence. We don’t “somehow manage” to arrive at being pure and blameless. Those all require thought, energy, planning and effort. We look at what is best, evaluate our current and potential attitudes and actions, and make appropriate choices.
- Like Paul, we may disagree over how some things are done, but we are all committed to the final outcomes. As long as this advances the gospel and maintains the truth, we can be on-board with what takes place. And that doesn’t mean we do this passive-aggressively. It means that we actually support and encourage. And that all starts within us. We first seek to make sure we are the ones with pure hearts and intentions.
- The attitudes Paul is advocating have eternal consequences. It’s not merely that Paul seeks harmony in the local congregation; he also wants each individual within that congregation to be spiritually healthy and ready for the arrival of Jesus. When our focus is for others in the body, we will clearly be less focused upon ourselves and our personal agendas. We partner in mission, for sure, but we also partner in personal development.
- How are you doing at intentionally growing in these areas?
- What hinders your growth?
- What would be different in your church involvement, if your personal spiritual development was further along?
PRAY: Commit to growing as a believer. Pray for the insight to do the right things in order to grow. Pray for anyone you perceive might be a hindrance to your growth.