The heading above Philippians 2:12-18 is “Light Bearers.” I love that. In fact, in my Bible, I wrote that this passage is the mission for the Tirzah community. My favorite is the Message version:
“Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.”
Uncorrupted. Blameless. Harmless. A breath of fresh air amidst a crooked and perverse generation. Children of God living a set apart life in a world running so quickly away from God. We are living proof of our Heavenly Father’s grace, love, and power.
Unfortunately, many believers today think that living a set apart life means knowing the right Christian things to say and the right part to play. We do our church stuff with our church people and we proudly proclaim that Jesus is our all in all. But in many other ways, our lives look exactly like the world – we feed on the same entertainment, dress in the same styles, attend the same events, celebrate all the same man-made occasions/holidays, divorce and pre-marital sex become the norm, and the list could go on and on. Because so often you’ll walk down the street and you won’t be able to tell the believer from a non-believer. Even worse is when you go to school or work with someone without ever seeing the fruit of the Spirit in their life (sometimes even after they proclaim to be believers).
We can’t escape this world – at least not just yet. Jesus knew it and He prayed to God that He would protect us from the evil one as we served out our time in this world (John 17:15). Every day, we show up to school, work and the grocery store. We are surrounded by the world and its darkness. That’s why today it’s more important than ever before to truly be set apart in every way.
It is not easy to remain uncorrupted in the modern era. You’ll be called odd. Some will make fun of you for being backwards, old-fashioned, close-minded or even mock you for dressing like a grandma. But that’s okay, because for the same reasons, you’ll also be called a breath of fresh air in a shallow, vain, evil world. Focus all your efforts on that. Then, darling, see how bright you light up the world and just how many people are attracted to the love of Christ shining radiantly through you!