By Barry G. Allen- President & CEO
As 2014 has ended and 2015 begins, each of us should take an inventory of our lives. The Apostle Paul offers some helpful guidance in Philippians 3:12-16.
Much like the Philippian church of Paul’s day, we find ourselves in a world that does not place a premium on spiritual values. Instead, contemporary society invites participation without restraint in various kinds of immorality. By some modern-day standards, there is no “right” or “wrong.” Seemingly, every individual has the privilege of doing what is “right” according to his or her standards. As a result, our society is “slouching toward Gomorrah.” Regretfully, we are living in a world bent on decay.
In contrast to our contemporary American scene are the Apostle Paul’s words, which specify the values and goals of a Christian. Instead of seeking to satisfy self-desires and carnal pleasure, Paul encountered self-denial and commitment to Christ as his life’s purpose. His values were spiritual, and his goal was Christ. The intensity of his desire was expressed in such vivid language as “press on”, “straining for” and “seize.” The most important aspect of his life was his relationship to Jesus Christ. Christ, instead of self, was at the center of his being.
If we, then, honestly evaluate Paul’s perspective, these questions arise: Are our values in the right place? Is Jesus Christ the goal of our lives? Has our spiritual progress been deterred because of self-centeredness? Do we have the courage to struggle with our sin and the sin of the world?
As Christians in today’s world, we are challenged prayerfully to consider our values, our goals and our commitments. Let these words of Paul help you meet the challenge: “Not that I have already attained all of this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
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The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.