I hope this message finds each of you in good health and good spirits. Maintaining our physical and spiritual well-being can be such a challenge, even though we live in such a beautiful and peaceful part of the world. Whether we get locked into arguments with the people immediately around us or we get caught up in all the terrible things happening all over the globe, it can be very easy to give up on even attempting to be joyful.
In Philippians 2:1-13 we catch a glimpse, through the early Christian hymn recorded there, of a way out of the traps we build for ourselves. Joy and consolation come, argues Paul, not from looking out for Number 1 but just the opposite; by looking to the interests of others, by taking on a default stance of humility.
Humility is not the same as depriving or hating ourselves, but rather comes from a place of confidence and self-respect. When we feel loved and love others, that feeling of security allows us to give up the fanatical need to control those around us. Jesus took equality with God not as an excuse to force everyone to do his bidding, but rather as a sign of supreme confidence that though his enemies could destroy his body they couldn’t destroy his spirit.
Let us, as we accept our roles as children of God, also be filled with that confidence. The Way of Christ walks in us, and no matter what difficulties and miseries we may encounter we, too, are part of the undefeatable power of truth and love.
Peace and joy be with you all,