Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27a NIV
This verse speaks to me deeply because it is so easy to excuse myself to live less than God wants for me, when circumstances do not unfold the way I might hope. The Scripture says, “whatever happens.” This implies that, whatever develops in my life, any circumstance that presents itself, takes place, or transpires. Nothing is stated that only when good happens, or only when it is convenient that I should do what follows in this verse. It clearly states that my circumstances do not decide how I respond. “Whatever happens” may be the test to reveal how committed I really am.
It goes on to tell us what we are to do with “whatever happens.” It says, “conduct yourselves” implying that this is a personal responsibility. That I am responsible for how I conduct myself. Not how I try to make someone else respond, but how I respond. Conduct is how one handles, directs, guides, or takes charge. In this verse, it would be saying, handle yourself, guide yourself, direct yourself, or take charge of yourself.
How do I direct myself? In a “manner” a style, way, tone, and right attitude. Again personal responsibility. There is a manner by which one is to direct themselves. This manner or way is to be found worthy of the gospel.
Worthy is deserving, true, trustworthy, dependable, praiseworthy, credible, and worth. Of the gospel, the good news, and of truth.
Of Christ Jesus. This is not just any gospel we are called to live worthy of. It is the gospel of Christ, our Saviour, our Redeemer, our Friend, our Hope, our More than Enough.
So in essence, I am personally seeing the call to set my hope fully in God. To choose that whatever develops in my life whether knowingly or by surprise, I am called to direct myself with a right attitude that is found trustworthy of the truth of Christ, my More than enough.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts again and how this can be applied.
Patricia and Keith says:January 7, 2014 at 8:05 am
Whatever happens: What we consider to be good things or bad things, expected and unexpected. No matter what, despite any adversity, in all things, in all circumstances
Conduct yourselves: Idea of an orchestra conductor keeping all the musicians together and similarly keeping myself together. I can only do that in Jesus, as I give myself to Him. I can`t do it by myself. Be, act, take responsibility for your actions and act deliberately.
In an manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ: The only way I can be worthy is in Jesus. So, as before, it`s giving myself and the situation to Jesus and asking Him to make me worthy, in order that God would be glorified. Thought of 1 Corinthians 13 which seems to be a humanly impossible list of what love is – but God is Love so it`s as we abide in Him, give it all to Him, that we do things in a worthy manner. Act in light of the good news of salvation. Obey Jesus` commands. In particular the three loves: Love the Lord your God, love your neighbour and love each other. Act as though He will return at any moment. Act in a way that reflects Jesus` nature, so we need to ask `what would Jesus do?`.
Application: Constantly practice the presence of God, so as not to be caught unawares by sudden happenings good or bad or by sudden reactions in myself to situations, people. I/we must stay focussed on Jesus so that no matter what the circumstances I act deliberately to follow His Will, not circumstances. Whatever happens pray and practice this.
Norman says:January 7, 2014 at 10:07 pm
That is cool Patricia & Keith. He has grace available for every situation we encounter but we somehow excuse ourselves from moving in a manner that would be pleasing thinking the situation calls for another approach. I say we which is a guess but I can say ME with all certainty that I have failed to do as He has desired without really trying hard but chose a different approach to adversity which is clearly wrong. Love the picture of the orchestra as it shows how all things can work together for good if we are willing to follow the conductor. 🙂
Norman says:January 7, 2014 at 10:08 pm
Moderation is not a word usually connected with me. lol
Susan Craig says:January 8, 2014 at 12:14 am
I am a nurse and work in challenging circumstances in that anything could happen at any given moment in time and I am required to act. I say act deliberately because our human instinct is to react when unexpected things drop into our laps-often suddenly and without warning. The whatever really speaks to me because in this life we will encounter happenings that are humanly impossible to cope with. We are not responsible for the happenings but we are responsible for the way we act in those situations-God’s will for us in those situations is to turn our thoughts towards Jesus-think about what He would do-think of His conduct and then our own conduct should reflect that we are His brothers and sisters-we do not live in isolation-we are part of the body of Christ-the family of God-and how each one of us acts in any circumstances reflects on the whole family and affects the whole body. In this generation of me first and only do what we” feel” like doing, the words in this verse are radically different!! I also think of preparation-we need to be prepared to face emergency situations before they happen so we know what needs to be done and are able to do it almost automatically. Like learning CPR and getting certified in it every year so that if you ever are in a situation in which CPR is needed,you are able to act swiftly and competently to save a person’s life. Being prepared for the WHATEVER’s in life is essential!!
Pat McRae says:January 12, 2014 at 11:42 pm
Today January 11th I thought on this verse all day and as my head hit the pillow this is how I saw it. Whatever happens=the good, the bad, the ugly! Then came the stumbling block “conduct yourselves”! Ok how? Conduct myself I couldn’t get past it! As I laid down I saw my friend in the red suit (not really a friend) and my angel, each on a shoulder. Red suit “Remember your conduct?” Angel “Yep” I started to smile as I said “Yep” too. Have I conducted myself always in a worthy manner? “Nope” Has my desire been to conduct myself in a worthy manner? “Yep” I am still smiling because I saw for the first time condemnation leave frustrated and conviction saying “walk with me and I will keep you on the road of conducting yourself in a worthy manner”. What is the gospel of Christ? For me it is to declare the goodness of God to a lost and dying world. To let them know that “whatever happens”God loves them so much and sent His Son to purchase their freedom for all eternity. Thank You Holy Spirit for revelation and a smile 🙂