Shift of Focus

Paul wrote to the church at Philippi while in prison. He encouraged a life of righteousness and unity within the body of Christ, but he acknowledged that the gospel was being preached by some with pure motives, some with motives of envy and jealousy and some with motives of rivalry. His attitude was that regardless of the motive behind it, the gospel message was advancing. Paul even acknowledged that his imprisonment was giving confidence to believers and was bringing more visibility to the gospel message as well. I thought about this in the context of today’s culture, and it challenged me to shift my focus away from division and disagreement- even among the body of Christ. This is not to say that we shouldn’t challenge each other in our motives, but we can’t get hung up on disagreements to the point of division. Paul celebrated that the gospel was being preached and spread even with the motives of imperfection, and even as he sat in prison wrongfully. What wrong has been done to us that we can use as a platform or an opportunity for the gospel? We can actively and hopefully pursue our deliverance (as Paul was doing) while also maximizing the opportunity to spread the gospel. If we are consumed with the wrong that is done to us our hearts will be polluted, and we will miss these opportunities. What I really pulled from this is that the spread of the gospel has very little to do with our circumstances and more to do with our focus. There will always be trouble, hardship, and disagreement but that can’t be our focus. If we focus on those things we will be tempted to wait to move when our troubles are gone. That time is never so our priority needs to be the gospel and just watch what happens to our circumstances as we advance God’s kingdom.

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