Paul reminds us that our citizenship is in heaven. Although we now inhabit this realm, we should do so with one eye always on the things of God. It reminds me of the days when the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets were popular. The idea still remains that our focus should always remain on our faith and how it guides our life.
But, alas, what should be is not always what is. At times we choose poorly and we live for the things of this world. At times our question is not ‘WWJD’ but ‘what do I want’? The shift of our focus can happen easily. It can be subtle. If our faith foundation is solid and if we see our misplaced focus soon enough, then it is relatively easy to get back to focusing on the heavenly focus that God calls us to.
In this section of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he is trying to help them get back on track. Like a good parent, teacher, or coach, Paul begins by building them up. He reminds them of all they know of God and of what life following God’s ways looks like. In this letter he goes on to encourage them to move away from their recent quarrelling and focus on earthly matters and to move back into a right relationship with God and with each other.
When we read a passage like this one, it leads us to ponder the question: are we living a life focused on God right now? As we ponder this, we have two great resources that the Philippians did not. As we look in the mirror we can also look to our Bibles that are full of examples of what living a Godly life looks like. We can seek to emulate Paul or any other great example found in the Bible. In addition, we each have many living examples of this as well. Each of our faith communities has modern day examples like Paul – people whose lives always reflect God’s light and love.
As we read our Bibles and live amongst this great body of believers that is the church, may we continually seek to grow in our faith, in our witness, and in our example. May we strive to each day also be that example of living faith that both new believers and the world so needs to see.
Scripture reference: Philippians 3:17 to 4:1