The Philippians were arguing and fighting. They had different interpretations of the Gospel, which led to continuous arguments – sounds familiar, doesn’t it? In verse 2 Paul asks them to stop fighting. But to prepare the way for this request, he starts like this: 1If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor …
Let’s look at these characteristics one by one and compare it to our picture. The first: 1If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ …, which the King James version puts as follows: If there be therefore any consolation in Christ …
“Does Christianity mean anything to you?” is the question that shoots into my mind. Do I really experience the consolation of Christ in my life or is it something caught between the pages of my Bible?
Once in the business world we were sitting around the table looking at each product produced by the business and asked a simple question: “Does the product add value?” Sometimes we were even forced to ask that question about people: “Do this or that person really add value?” The most difficult was when the answer was no and changes had to be made.
You and I should ask that same question, namely whether Christianity and the consolation of Christ really add value to our lives or whether the value remains locked in the words of the Bible?
If it does not add value, we have to find the fault, because things cannot go on like that. We simply cannot keep on struggling with something that does not work. It adds no value. On the contrary, it drains your energy.
When something no longer has value, you first go to the supplier. Are his service and products still good quality? Are they the same as they were in the past? Well, if I look at the service offered by God, it is exactly the same. Look back at history and at those people who lived close to God. They found their consolation with God. Their walk with God gave direction to their lives.
For Mynie her relationship with God added a lot of value:
At 44 years old I started my own business in the garage after spending many hours talking to the Lord: “Lord, I know nothing!” His response: “I’m with you!”
So it came about that I started the business in faith and a Bible verse in Afrikaans, English and Tswana is sown into every pair of overalls, piece of clothing, etc. today there’s a factory in Augrabies and shops in Kakamas and Upington. We now employ more than 30 people.
If the value of Christianity and God’s consolation do not reach us, clearly the problem is not on God’s side. Somewhere there is a fault on our side. There are frogs in the pipe. We have to find them and get rid of them.
We have to make sure the pipe is clean so that God’s consolation can flow over us and so that we can find value in our Christianity. All of this is offered to us through grace. Take it!
Does Christianity add value to your life?
Do you experience Jesus’ consolation?
Are your pipes clean?
Father, I must confess that I do not always experience your value in my life. I know the mistake does not lie with You, but with me. Please help me to clean my pipes so that You can add value to my life. Amen