With the stress of jobs, marriage, children, finances and just life in general, we can often find ourselves acting and reacting in a less than godly manner. We all have down times, problems and disappointments, but how we respond to them is what shows our maturity in Christ.
I'm not always successful, but I've found the more I practice and hold myself accountable, there are less failures. Plus, the success that comes from doing it God's way brings such peace and joy.
Here are some Scriptures I try to live by in everyday life. This is how I paraphrase them and make them personal.
1. Whatever happens today, I will conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phil. 1:27).
This is a decision we must make every day; something we need to preset in our hearts and minds so that, when people disappoint us or make us angry, or things just don't go our way, we will respond in an honorable way. When things happen, there's that moment of choice when we can decide to respond with the habits from the old nature, or we can use the power of the Holy Spirit to respond in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
2. Consider others better than yourself (Phil. 2:3).
This can be tricky. It's not the kind of thing where we start putting ourselves down. And we don't become a doormat, allowing others to walk all over us. The way I put this to work in my life is to recognize other people's ideas and opinions and give them relevance in my life. So many times, we let our insecurities drive us, and we become the know-it-all who always has the answer. Of course, we all think our ideas are the best, and they might be. But thinking more highly of others and giving credence to their opinions and ideas builds them up and strengthens the relationship.
3. Don't just look out for your own interests but also for the interests of others (Phil. 2:4)
What does the Bible mean when it says to look out for the interests of others? The welfare of others is to be our priority. We can get so focused on "me" and "mine" that we forget about those around us. What are they going through? What are their needs? It's important to want the best for those around us and to let them know we are standing with them and praying for them. Showing that their lives are important to us builds trust and forms godly relationships.
4. Your attitude (my attitude) should be like Jesus, who humbled/lowered Himself and took on the nature or character of a servant (Phil. 2: 2, 5-7).
It's such an amazing thought that Jesus, being God, chose to lay that down: He "being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But he emptied Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant" (Phil. 2:6-7). Do you find yourself sometimes hoping for recognition? Oh, we play the humble card, but inside we are grasping to be lifted up. The thing is, it's the truly humble, those with the heart of a servant, who will be lifted up. The servant doesn't spend time upset and worried about what they don't have but are watching for opportunities to serve and give to others. Some people are more naturally gifted in this area, but we are all to follow in the steps of Jesus, to lay down our lives for others, especially those we are closest to. Practical thought: Don't wait for someone to ask—look for ways to reach out and help. Get to know the people in your circle, so you know how and when they might need a hand. Let's all take the challenge to be more like Jesus and take on the attitude of a servant.
5. Do everything without murmuring or disputing so you will become blameless and harmless children of God and can shine like stars as you hold out the word of truth (Phil 2: 14-16).
Complaining is such a part of our society that we hardly even notice we're doing it, and most people think it's no big deal. But it's a big deal to God. God became angry with the Israelites in the Old Testament because of their complaining and grumbling. When we grumble and complain, it says we don't think our Father has done enough and that we don't trust Him to have our best interests at heart. When we complain or speak negatively, we prophesy to ourselves and into the spirit realm, bringing about more of the same. It's the thankful heart that brings the blessings of God into our lives. When something goes wrong, begin to thank our Father for all the things that have gone right and the wonderful blessings in your life. Begin to thank Him ahead of time for what you are believing for in the future. Speak thankful words in front of others even when you are going through hard times.
This is how we become blameless and harmless. When others see our thankfulness in times of trouble, we will be like shining stars holding out life to them. You don't have to carry the heaviness of a negative life around anymore. Thankful living and uplifting words will bring such joy into your life, and when you walk into a room, everyone will be able to see the light and life in your eyes. You can be one who brings life wherever you are because of your thankful heart, and because you carry the light of Jesus wherever you go.
This article originally appeared at herebelions.org,