What Really Matters?

Have you ever found yourself asking the question, what really matters?  I mean, what is it that is important and central to life?  I think we all have.  Asking this question isn’t dependent on our social status, what we own, or the way we look or don’t look.  No, it is common to all humankind to wonder, what really matters?

I have found myself having to wrestle with this question recently.  I have wondered who or what idea or opinion is living on the throne of my life.   I have had to be honest about what in my life really matters. Maybe you have wrestled with this, too?  I mean, what really matters, MATTERS!

The place in which we find ourselves in this world today makes this question relevant, timely, and important.  We have become owners of strong opinions and have been encouraged by social media to share those opinions.  And those strong opinions seem to really matter. Or do they?

It is, in many ways, a sad state in which we find ourselves.  But we are not the first people to find ourselves here.  In fact, in Philippians, we see Paul telling the church about his present situation.   

Philippians 1:10, Paul writes, “For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.”

Paul was in jail, but his presently difficult situation was producing fruit.  Fruit that would not have developed any other way. Prison, it seems, was a good thing.  You see, being in jail or being free to go wherever Paul wanted wasn’t what really mattered.  What really mattered was that fruit was produced, lives were changed, and Jesus was given glory. Paul’s imprisonment was the catalyst for God’s glory to be revealed.  Paul’s struggles and persecution were encouraging the believer’s around him to be bold in their faith.  Sadly, there were some folks preaching Jesus out of “jealousy and rivalry.”  They were trying to sink Paul further into more persecution and pain; they tried to make his trials more severe.

But in verses 17 and 18 of Philippians chapter one (NLT), Paul wrote these words, “Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me.  But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.”

Did you see the same word used again, matter?  You see, Paul has hit on an important idea.  What really matters is that Christ is being uplifted and glorified.  What doesn’t really matter is how you and I are being treated; it isn’t about us!  UGH!  That is a tough one to swallow.  But for the believer who follows hard after Jesus, it is the truth.  

Paul ends chapter one of Philippians by saying these well-known words, “above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.” (my italics) And in conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News we give glory to Jesus.

And that, my friend, is what really matters!

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