The main idea: Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you are on their side, working with them and not against them. Our reasonableness should be clear to everyone. When our focus is on helping others, we are reasonable. Our motives are clear and transparent.
This is a stunning way to approach relationships. And it should be our approach to all we meet, not just friends and family. This is a big shift in how we think and act. This is love demonstrated.
- Do they know I am on their side?
- Do they know I am working with them?
- Am I reasonable?
- Am I fair minded?
- Am I charitable?
What about that homeless person begging for money? Do they know I am on their side when I just ignore them? What about the cashier that is working for me?
It is simple but I am guessing not everyone I meet gets that. And … it is not their fault if they do not. God forbid they think I am against them. I am sure, to my embarrassment, that it happens. I need to ask myself, and them, what can I do to help?
May I show my love by being on the side of my friends, family and everyone I meet.
Rejoice in the Master [Lord] always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Master [Lord]is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in the Messiah [Christ] Jesus.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Philippians 4:4–7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
If anybody had an excuse for worrying, it was the Apostle Paul. His beloved Christian friends at Philippi were disagreeing with one another, and he was not there to help them. We have no idea what Euodia and Syntyche were disputing about, but whatever it was, it was bringing division into the church.
Along with the potential division at Philippi, Paul had to face division among the believers at Rome. Added to these burdens was the possibility of his own death! Yes, Paul had a good excuse to worry—but he did not! Instead, he took time to explain to us the secret of victory over worry.
What is worry? The Greek word translated “anxious” (careful) in Philippians 4:6 means “to be pulled in different directions.” Our hopes pull us in one direction; our fears pull us the opposite direction; and we are pulled apart! The Old English root from which we get our word “worry” means “to strangle.” If you have ever worried, you know how it does strangle a person! In fact, worry has definite physical consequences: headaches, neck pains, ulcers, even back pains. Worry affects our thinking, our digestion, and even our coordination.
From the spiritual point of view, worry is wrong thinking (the mind) and wrong feeling (the heart) about circumstances, people, and things.
- Worry is the greatest thief of joy. It is not enough for us, however, to tell ourselves to “quit worrying” because that will never capture the thief.
- Worry is an “inside job,” and it takes more than good intentions to get the victory. The antidote to worry is the secure mind: “And the peace of God … shall keep [garrison, guard like a soldier] your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
- When you have the secure mind, the peace of God guards you and the God of peace guides you. With that kind of protection—why worry?
God’s goal: If we are to conquer worry and experience the secure mind, we must meet the conditions that God has laid down. There are three:
- right praying
- right thinking
- right living