Thursday, December 20, 2012

And Turn Your Thoughts to the Things Above and Experience Peace, Part 1

Scripture: Philippians 4:7-9
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Insights: I will write about verses seven and nine tomorrow.  Today, I want to focus on verse eight.  Once again the verses above are often taken out of context.  In regards to our verse today people will quote this verse in terms of thinking positively about situations and things in life and yes that axiom is a valid point.  Context, however, tells us these verses are still dealing with the conflict between Euodia and Syntyche.  In that context, Paul is telling us to think about whatever is true about the person with whom we are in conflict.  Specifically, relating to these two ladies, the truth we know is they are both born again because their names are written in the book of life.  What is honorable about the person with whom you are in conflict?  In regards to these two ladies we know they are both actively involved in the advancement of the gospel.  I personally think that is a pretty honorable task.  The next task in this list is often a hard one to perform.  When there is conflict, often times, both parties have points that are right.  Because of our defense mechanisms and desire for justification, we often dismiss the right points of the other person.  Contextually, what is the person with whom you are in conflict saying to you that is right?  Is there same action or attitude you need to be changing or altering because the person is correct?  I think you are getting the point of this exercise in regards to purity, loveliness, good reputation, and excellence.  Let me; therefore, address the last subject in this list: anything praise worthy.  It may be possible, doubtful, but possible for you not to think of one positive thing in the previously mentioned list regarding the person with whom you are in conflict.  Is there, however, anything praise worthy about that person?  If there is, and there always is, then Paul’s point is you are not beyond the possibility for reconciliation.  Beloved, start there and be reconciled.

  1. What is one good thing about the person with whom you are in conflict?
  2. Are you willing to start there and begin working on reconciliation?
Prayer: Father, every creation is valuable for the mere fact that You created them.  Help me to see with Your eyes the worth of those with whom I am having conflict.  Change my heart to see as You see them and begin to have peace in the relationship.  Amen. 

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