Wednesday, January 5, 2011

For Your Approval

I'm pretty sure I stated in some earlier post that I've been spending some time in Philippians.  I intend to stay there for a while until it has a hold of me.  Remember when you were a kid and you swished Jello in your mouth until it was liquid?  That's what I'm trying to do with Philippians.  Just let it roll around for a while until it's made me who God wants me to be through it.

One of the things I ran across this morning that was blog-worthy was Paul's prayer in 1.10.  He prays for them to grow in love, with knowledge and discernment, so that they "may approve what is is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ..." (emphasis mine).

What struck me about that was how much it represents a change of affection and, thus, a heart-level change.  If you're going to approve of something, it's going to come from a deep place.  Approval is instinctual in that way - it's more a gut-level response than a calculated one.  Need an example?  Cheering for your favorite team when they score.  A pleasure-filled "ahhhhhh" when downing a drink.  All approval, but none calculated.

This is what got me:  what am I lending my approval to that is not excellent?  What, in the culture in which I live and breathe, do I instinctually give my nod to that doesn't reflect the goodness of Christ?  And then I thought of this damning little verse in Romans 1:  "Though they know God's decree...they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them" (v.32, emphasis mine).

So I'm going to be a little more on guard in the days ahead, thinking about what I give my approval to and, more importantly, what that says about my heart.  Thankfully, there's a God who answers prayers for abounding love and who, through Jesus, makes us blameless before Him.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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