“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27). NIV
Everything in life is not always going to turn out as you had planned. How you respond to unpleasant or unexpected things that happen along the way can make all the difference in your life as well as the lives of others.
I’m talking about “attitude.”
A few days ago, I drove for an hour to speak at a meeting. When I arrived at my destination, no one was there. I quickly called a man to ask if I had made a mistake. Had I gotten the date wrong? Was I mistaken about where the meeting was taking place?
Apologetically, the man informed me that the meeting had been canceled and that no one had thought to call and let me know.
At that point, I had a decision to make; how would I react? Would I become frustrated and angry? Would I be kind? The choice was mine.
Suddenly, I looked up into the sky and was reminded that I had just spent the last hour driving in the sunshine, enjoying the beautiful day God had made. I decided right then and there to make the most of it. I told the man that the mix up was no problem, that I was happy, and not to worry about it. After all, I should have called ahead to make sure that the meeting was still taking place, especially in this season when a pandemic has changed so much of what we do and how we do it. I pulled over at a restaurant, ate lunch, then went on about my day.
I could have ruined my entire day had I made a different choice. The wrong decision could have gotten me in a bad mood and caused me to become irritable. It all hinged on my attitude.
When the apostle Paul wrote the words he recorded in Philippians 1:27, he was sitting in a Roman prison. He did not know if he would live or be put to death. And the people in the church at Philippi. who dearly loved him, did not know if they would ever see him again.
So, Paul wrote in effect, “Whatever happens, react in a way that will show others who you belong to.”
As I write these words, a lot is happening in our world. You could lose your job. You might lose your home.
The election, only days away, might not turn out the way you want.
You might experience something as minor as a flat tire, coffee spilled down your shirt first thing in the morning, or receive on the receiving end of a coworker’s snarky comment.
How will you react?
Will you get mad and conduct yourself in a manner that doesn’t resemble Christ in any way, or will you determine now, whatever happens, I’m going to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel of my Lord?
The choice is yours. Your actions will be determined by your attitude.
Read Philippians 2:14-15, 4:8-9; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Jerry Fulton's goal in life is to share the love of Jesus, so others might become followers of Christ.