I received a push on my computer from a newspaper that I subscribe to and the article it highlighted was one that depicted what they referred to as the top racist moments of 2017. This article had pictures with little one liners that described with no real details how the picture represented something that someone had done that showed racism. I was quite taken back. I remember when was young the end of the year was used to reflect on how adversity had been overcome, and how despite all the odds we had persevered through the hard times, made difficult decisions and shouldered the burdens of those events together. We looked back and chose to revel in the good of others and the accomplishments that were made by family, friends, and our communities.
Lately it seems a bad virus has spread across our continent. This sickness has darkened our hearts and made us to hurt and use one another spitefully. It is strange how in such a short time we went from being on the top of the world, the only super power to survive the cold war, united in a common cause to the mess we see now days. We have allowed our joy to be taken from us and made to feel vulnerable. We have allowed the “fear” of racism, sexists, and other unseemly isms to infiltrate our peace for fear of being ostracized from society. Political Correctness and the immoral minority have paralyzed us into inadequacy of action. We have compromised our holiness before God and man.
Remember the words of Paul and Timothy that were recorded in their letter to the Philippians where they wrote, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8). It is believed that Paul wrote this epistle near the end of his Roman imprisonment around 61-62 AD. Paul sought to encourage this church who was in a spiritual battle. He poured out his life as an offering to Christ in many dangerous situations, which included beatings, stoning’s, shipwrecks, and imprisonments and yet he still had joy. Paul wanted the church at Philippi to know that living a Christ centered life was the key to joy.
So looking here we see that perspective affects our joy. Paul said that we need to look at things in the proper perspective. We should think, or deliberately consider, or meditate on these things that Paul mentions. We should reflect on things that are true. In other words we should concentrate of things that are correct, or accurate and not give into speculations or hearsay. Think on eternal truths from the scriptures and see them at work in nature. We should be honest in all our dealings with God and with man. Promote the general good, and the good news of the gospel. We should protect our minds and honor those who are chaste. We should dress ourselves in integrity.
Good news should be shared and enjoyed with one another. Take joy in the accomplishments of others and in the blessings that the Lord has given others. We should share in the blessings the Lord has given us with all love and compassion towards our fellow Christians and the world. We should publically acknowledge good deeds and be useful in our community to build up our community instead of tearing it down.
Paul knew that true joy comes only through humility and faith that is acted out in the lives of those around us. Pray for one another, give to one another, and share hope in Christ to one another. Allow the joy you find in Christ Jesus to share peace instead of quarrels and divisions. If you pray for peace and restoration then get out be a peace maker, be a restorer in your community. Let the light of Christ show in your daily walk. Weep with those who need to weep, then be an encouragement.