Inspired by Philippians 2:12-18
“[W]ork out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.” Philippians 2:12b-15 (NRSV)
The world is full of turmoil and strife. Everyone seeks to benefit themselves, and they frequently don’t care who gets hurt in the process. Many are convinced that the world would be a better place if everyone thought, acted, and believed as they do, and they try to force others into that mold. Threats and accusations abound as we blame each other for the problems in the world.
Christians are in this world, but we are not of this world. We are called to be children of God, and as such we are to not engage in the threats and accusations that are the hallmark of this crooked and perverse generation. Each of us is called to work out our own salvation—not anyone else’s—with fear and trembling, listening for the will of God speaking to each of us in our own contexts and circumstances. As we discern God’s will for our lives, we’re to carry it out humbly, without calling attention to ourselves or condemning others for not being like us, and being freed from the sting of others’ condemnation of us. For God is at work in us, enabling us to will and to work for his good pleasure, and the threats and accusations directed at us by the rest of the world have no power over us as we shine like stars.
Let us pray. Father God, your Spirit is at work within us. Help us to be blameless and innocent in the world’s strife, that your love and mercy may shine through us. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.