Are you the kind of person, that when they get something new, reads the instructions carefully and follows them stage by stage; or the kind that tips everything out on the floor and works it out intuitively?

I am the second of those.  I find it much easier to work it out for myself how something works, or how to put it together.  It usually works for me!

But even I acknowledge that there are times for instructions – usually when something is not working right, or you can tell it’s gone wrong, but you’re not sure why.  Our tv has been making some odd noises, and, having tried some obvious solutions, I had to get the instruction manual out to try to find out why – not that it was any help!

Paul sends some parting words to the Philippians. He’s reminded them that what they have is as a gift from God, but has one last set of instructions:

Euodia and Syntyche, please, I beg you, try to agree as sisters in the Lord;

Show a gentle attitude toward everyone;


fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable

This is not just something to try if you’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t worked, this is a basic foundation on which the church community should live.

They work hard in spreading the gospel – it shouldn’t be undermined by how they behave to one another.

The things you focus on tend to colour your life.  If you focus on the bad things, wrongs done to you, things that annoy you – that will be the tone of your life.  Instead if we focus on good, truth and honour that will be the focus of the way we live – and a better way to live it will be.

So, let’s be gentle with one another, and look to thing that are praiseworthy.  That’s how to live and how to stand firm in our life in God.


may my life be coloured by your ways,

may I live as you ask.

May I look to things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable

and stand firm

in you

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