Read Philippians 3:1-16
We are examining seven words that speak to our current situation in a COVID-19 / stay-at-home world.
Today’s word is “intentionality.”
My wife can attest to it, but I am pretty predictable. I tend to do the same things, at the same time, and in the same way. Some might use the word “regimented” to describe me. If you aren’t like me, rejoice. Most days, I wish I was more like you!
Regardless of how much routine describes you, all of us have felt a huge disruption in life as we have known it. With our lives upside-down, we are scrambling to find equilibrium. We may feel like we suffer from vertigo as we desperately claw at anything to regain our balance.
The words and the life of the apostle Paul are especially insightful to people like us today. Here are three ideas that come from the reading above:
- Don’t let the accomplishments of your past define you (vv. 1-11).Paul had quite a resume outlining who he was in terms of things he had done. More important than all of that was knowing Christ and being found in him! The true value of your life before COVID-19 wasn’t found in your productivity and your long list of things you had done. No, rather than being rooted in your productivity, your identity is anchored in your identity in Christ, if you are one of His followers.
- Don’t let the disruption of the present confine you (from the context of the whole letter). Paul wrote these words from a prison cell. It is interesting, though, that he didn’t just surrender to what seemed to be the limitations of his situation. With your life upside down, don’t adopt a defeatist mentality and just passively surrender yourself to “survival” as the greatest goal for this timeframe.
- Allow “one thing” to drive you (vv. 12-16). Paul’s “one thing” was a passionate pursuit of Jesus. We could summarize it with his desire to “know Christ and to make Him known.” It was like his north star for orienting himself in spite of his past experiences and in the face of his present realities.
In the midst of today’s uncertainties, intentionally allow your “one thing” to drive you. What is your “one thing”? What will be the one, intentional, relentless pursuit that defines you during this COVID-19 / stay-at-home order and beyond? I like the summary of Paul’s life. Be intentional about knowing Jesus and making Him known.