27 Only let your manner of life be worthy[h] of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.
Opposition from Without
Our lives need to be in order in such a way that those who live outside of the faith can see unity and a different approach from the norm. In the present climate of culture wars, not only is there an attack from outside the church, but the church does not maintain a solid line itself. Members of the church look to their leadership for direction and the leadership, across the church as a whole, has no idea how to agree with each other on issues like reproductive rights, same-sex unions, and the environment. The words thrown at each other across the aisle of liberalism and conservatism are shocking at times. However, sometimes the church does maintain a stance of love and compassion and come together around things like taking care of the homeless. When the churches provide food, shelter, or clothing, they are seen as a good thing. However, in my opinion, the good that is done is overshadowed by the constant attacks the church endures for its stance against much social liberalism. However, if we maintain a stance that is in line with biblical teaching, we will show the truth of our position in the end. The endurance we find in the face of detractors and even persecution will show those within and outside of the faith that we are onto something true and lasting.
Unity is difficult. To know when to talk and when not to is hard. Give wisdom in what to say and when .
- How should the Philippians conduct themselves in the face of opposition?
- How does Paul’s example encourage the Philippians?
- How can one escape the fear that comes and causes us to be angry or depressed?
- How can you work today for unity?
- Do you need to escape fear that pushes you into anger or depression? How?