Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week

“The important thing”

Philippians 1v18 “What does it matter? The important thing is that … ” (NIV)

How would you fill in those dots (the technical term for the dots is “ellipsis”)?

I have often heard, “The important thing is that …” when an accident has happened, but the people involved are safe and sound. Or maybe it is when we have not done as well as hoped, but we got enough to get by. It conveys our sense of frustration or disappointment in something going wrong, but a recognition that the more important thing is OK.

So, what was the important thing for Paul? Paul finishes his sentence, “The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached.” Though Paul might suffer the unkindness of others, the hostility of the system, the restrictions of imprisonment, and the wrong motives of some who preached the gospel, what mattered to him was that the good news of Jesus was announced to the world in whatever way possible.

There are many ways to share the gospel, and God has made us each uniquely in terms of our gifts, abilities, resources and circumstances. I may not always agree with the ways others are going about it, but we do each carry a responsibility to take the message. The question is not “Do I agree with the way Joe is sharing the gospel?”, but “Am I agreeing in action with Jesus’ command on my life?”

Let’s both rejoice in the ways Christ is being proclaimed by others (even when not to our taste), and   action “the important thing” for ourselves.

With love and blessing,