Whatever Happened to “Whatever Happens?”
Paul writes this exhortation to the church at Philippi:
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27
Paul’s choice of qualifying words is important. He begins with “Whatever happens.”
Why didn’t he say, “For the most part…” or “Whenever possible…” or “….if this is your gift….” His context is clear. The command to conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ is applicable in the following case:
Does this command apply to you? If you can imagine some circumstance that falls outside of the scope of “whatever happens,” please let me know. In the meantime, if you are a child of God because of your personal relationship to Jesus Christ, your circumstances, whatever they may be, require you to conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Why? Because your conduct is a testimony to the lost about the character of God. And when we conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, whatever happens, we are a redemptive presence in the circle of our influence.
Many people tell me that they are confused and uncertain about God’s will for their lives. They wonder what purpose God has for them. Let me answer that question for you here and now.
For the record, if you are a child of God, God’s will and purpose for your life is to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. God has given each of us a different gift mix so that in all areas of life, people can observe the character of Christ lived through us.
Your conduct is a testimony to a fallen and broken world about the character of the God in Whose image you are being likened and conformed.
What do your business practices reveal about your relationship to Christ? Whatever happens…
What does the way you speak to your spouse reveal about your relationship to Christ? Whatever happens… What does the way you respond to sickness and disease say about God’s character? Whatever happens… What does your response to enormous loss reveal about your relationship to Christ? Whatever happens… What about your words, your eyes, and your thought life? Whatever happens…
The book of Philippians is written to a small congregation that witnessed the unfair beatings and jailings of their pastor/friend, Paul and his companion, Silas (Acts 16). Paul writes this letter from jail. His life models how to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of Christ – whatever happens.
Take Paul’s challenge personally. Today, yes, today, whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Written by: Charles F. Betters