Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Dignified And The Efficient

What do you do when you just can't get along with someone?

"I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord." - Philippians 4:2 ESV

Watchman Nee's take on the book of Philippians is that Paul has the conflict between these two women in his mind as he writes this whole book. The book isn't about them. It is written to everyone but this conflict is a primal human conflict. Two women who just can't agree... not because one is right and the other wrong... no... they are just people and people just don't get along sometimes.

They can't work it out with each other but the Spirit gives them different advice...

"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me." - Philippians 2:12-18 ESV

Walter Bagehot wrote a book in 1867 about the British Constitution and in it he breaks that document into two great ideals. He says that all great documents about governance can be broken into these two parts. The 'dignified' and the 'efficient.' The dignified represents glorious ideals and timeless truths. The English Monarchy should, in the Victorian mind, represent the dignified. Advising but only when ideals are involved. Ruling as examples of dignity. The efficient aspect represents the action of governance. The practical day to day work of completing tasks or making necessary changes. Both need each other and both must be in balance.

The British Constitution isn't scripture but we can see these two concepts in scripture can't we?

Jesus dying on a cross is the ultimate dignified act done by the ultimate person. He was and Is dignity incarnate and His dignity dignifies us if we let the Spirit work efficiently in us.

Paul points these two women, and all of mankind, that struggles in conflict to the dignity of the cross. If that dignity is the advising example then we can be governed by love efficiently because The Spirit of God works in us and is always in tune with the dignity of the Trinity.

We can rejoice in a crooked world that amplifies conflict and division if we behold the cross and 'work it out' with God.

"...for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." - Philippians 2:13 ESV

If the cross is our point of reference we can find a way past every obstacle because God does it in us and through us.

One day we will be face to face with the dignified One. He Is full of grace and truth. Let's stand and rest with our eyes fixed on Him as we deal with what must be dealt with in our day to day lives. He makes all the difference in every situation. His finished work counsels us in amazing practical ways moment to moment.


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