Archive for October 30th, 2009

14Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Philippians 1:14-18

I love Paul’s attitude here. He’s a prisoner because he preached the Gospel, and he recognizes that because he is in prison, many others are preaching the Gospel with more freedom than they were before. There isn’t the slightest hint of feeling sorry for himself. He rejoices that the Gospel is being proclaimed.

But it goes further than that.

  • Paul understands that the motives of some are pure – to proclaim the Gospel – to share God’s great gift of salvation with others.
  • He also understands that the motives of others are not nearly so pure – their motives are to stir up trouble so that Paul would receive harsher treatment in prison.

Still, Paul rejoices that either way, whether from pure motives or impure motives, the Gospel is being preached. Again, there is not a hint of bitterness or anger, or even frustration, toward those who are preaching out of impure motives. There is simply rejoicing that the Gospel is being preached.

I’m not sure where I first heard the term “unoffendable heart” – perhaps from Francis Frangipane’s teachings. Paul demonstrates an unoffendable heart in this passage – in a situation where others are clearly trying to harm him, he’s saying “it’s all good – they’re furthering the Gospel of Christ.”

Lord, help us to imitate Paul, even as he imitated Christ – help us to rejoice in the furtherance of the Gospel and not even give the slightest thought if we are offended in the process. Lord, may You have the victory when we think we have a right to be offended and instead choose to bless the offender.

Satan is the one whose desire it is to steal, kill and destroy. Becoming easily offended steals, kills and destroys our relationships with one another and with Christ. It spills over onto those around us, splashing them with the toxic emotions we feel. Don’t let Satan win even the smallest battle. Work hard to develop a heart like Paul’s and Christ’s – choose to be unoffendable.

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