Focus: Laying down your will
Philippians 2:14-15 (NKJV) Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…
Whether you have a ‘plan’ of your own—or not, it doesn’t come naturally for any of us to always be agreeable to the plans of others. To be specific, being agreeable to the degree that we are able to cooperate with someone else’s plan without complaining or having a negative attitude.
You might wonder what ‘getting along with others’ and ‘being willing to cooperate’ has to do with recovery from depression and dependency. Truthfully, it has everything to do with it.
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Having the heart to be truly compliant—or being completely willing and able to fully embrace with joy ‘the will of others’ and God—would quite possibly neutralize all of our reasons for being depressed and dependent.
The whole goal of this life is for us to be able to shine as lights in the world. According to Philippians 2:14-15, the only way we will be able to shine, is if we are blameless and harmless children of God, who are without fault. Being without fault, includes not finding fault.
At the mention of being ‘without fault’, you might quickly jump in and counter that ‘nobody’s perfect’. However, it’s a given fact that Jesus lived a perfect life on earth. The Bible tells us He was tested in all of the same things we are tested—yet He was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He is our model and the ‘standard’ of excellence we should be trying to live up to. Jesus told us how to get along with others. What He told us—and showed us—is really easy to understand. We just aren’t always good at following His directions.
In Philippians, the writer is reviewing the way to get along with other people by reminding us of the way Jesus lived. In a nutshell, Jesus was ‘willing to be humble’. He took upon Himself the form of a servant. A servant doesn’t disagree. If a servant is told to do something—he does it. He doesn’t complain or argue about what he’s been told to do.
Philippians 2:3-4 Says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit (superiority complex), but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Let’s take a minute and think about the thing that is bothering us the most right now. How would that thing change if we decided to ‘agree’…providing it wouldn’t be doing anything that would be in conflict to the Word of God. What if we were able to cooperate instead of contend? What if we started living our lives completely to please others? Better yet, what if the pleasure of others became our joy? Let’s face it—sometimes when we have to end up cooperating, we ‘go along with it’, but we don’t put our heart into it. I’m reminded of a comic of a little boy who was having to do ‘time out’. He’s sitting in a chair and the caption is, “I’m sitting down on the outside, but I’m standing up on the inside.”
Isn’t that how we behave a lot of times, too? When we don’t get our way—we pout. Technically, we cooperate, but we make everyone around us miserable by our pouty attitude. When we pout—we really aren’t being humble or cooperative. Pouting is a way of punishing the people around us for forcing us to do what they want.
In verses 14-15 of Philippians 2, we are instructed to do all things without complaining or disputing so that we would become blameless and harmless and without fault. In other words, complaining and disputing causes us to be guilty of a fault. Frankly, being a person who complains and disputes is something that causes harm and is something that we may be blamed for.
To sum it up, if we have a habit of complaining and disputing or arguing—it means we have a spirit of criticism. It could also mean we have a superiority complex. A person who always thinks their way is best hardly ever gets along with others. A person who is a good listener and is willing to cooperate is respected and has many friends. Think about it.
Declaration: I will find new strength by finding the heart to cooperate. I will stop thinking my way is the only way and stop complaining, disputing, and pouting when I don’t get my way. As I become joyful about being humble, I will get along better with others. When I have the right attitude, others will see me as a child of God, and I will become a light in the world.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.