Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Counting from a Worldly Perspective

Scripture: Philippians 3:4-6
although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.

Insights: Have you ever had a situation occur in your life where you began to have conversations with yourself in your mind?  Were you ever the villain in your conversation or did you find creative ways to justify why you were right and the other person was wrong?  In some ways, that was exactly what Paul was doing in today’s verses.  He was frustrated and mad at the outside attacks the church of Philippi was experiencing.  So, he began to justify his authority and right to speak to the church about the truth.  We are no different.  The problem is all of this self-aggrandizement does nothing to solve the issues at hand.  I have shared the following many times in my church, though I did not this past Sunday, but I think it is helpful in stopping these imaginary conversations.  The following is a summary of Avery Willis’ MasterLife material on the ACTION steps.  Acknowledge the emotion you are presently experiencing (in our case, at the time you begin to have these mental conversations).  Consider what the root cause of that emotion really is.  Thank God He is greater than the emotion and that He is able to solve the problem at hand.  Investigate as to what the Bible says about your situation and your emotional state.  Obey what the Holy Spirit tells you which is going to be in line with what you just learned from the Scriptures.  Nurture the appropriate fruit of the Spirit.  In other words, one or more of the following fruits is the appropriate emotional response to your situation.  Those fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  If you will pause for a moment when you recognize you are in one of those mental conversations and work through the ACTION steps, you will be amazed at how much better you will feel.  You will also be in a much healthier position to proceed in solving the problem or situation from God’s standpoint.  As a teaser for tomorrows Thoughts by Scott, even Paul realized how foolish it was for him to count out the reasons he was justified in his words against the Judaizers.

  1. Do you find yourself having self-justifying conversations in your head?
  2. Are you willing to put a stop to them?
Prayer: Father, it is not productive or helpful to justify myself or my actions in mental conversations.  Help me to run to You immediately when life situations drive me to these unhealthy conversations.  You be my peace and rock, O Lord. Amen. 

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