Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:21-30
Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. –Philippians 27-30
When we profess to be followers of Christ, how we live and treat one another, good or bad, is interpreted by the other as representing Christ, a responsibility we must take very seriously. How many people turn away from Christianity after being negatively impacted by the behavior of those claiming to be Christian? Much of such behavior appears to be more self-righteous than righteous. If God’s followers are set apart, it is for special service not because they are better than anyone else. White privilege grows from self-righteous seeds and self-righteousness stems from feeling unworthy.
I watched the PBS Program Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World, recently that described Luther’s early life of never feeling he could live up to the expectations of God. He tried everything he could including beating himself and confessing for hours every action he felt was sinful. He finally experienced an epiphany of grace leading him to understand the loving, forgiving nature of God. He went on to usher in the Reformation challenging the status quo of Christianity that had moved away from the basic tenets of Christ.
It is time we examine our ways of being and to ask God for our own moment of grace making us whole so that others can learn of the wondrous love of God through us.
Prayer: Lord make us whole and make us one with you. Amen.