philippians scripture

i’ve been thinking about what fruits of the spirit i could do with more of in my life and so recently i’ve been dwelling on the idea of gentleness and how underrated a quality it is. we are told in philippians “let your gentleness be evident to all” and to be gentle is said to be “kind, tender and mild-mannered” with gentleness also being described as “softness of action or effect, lightness”. although shouting from the rooftops may seem like the most effective way to spread God’s love, and those of us who aren’t naturally loud or expressive may often feel lacking in something that others seem to possess, it’s the qualities we express in our daily activities are what we are judged upon without realising - when we are gentle, kind and soft hearted we are living like Jesus and when this becomes a way of life it is evident to all who come into contact with us and people will seek to know where our joy and peace come from - and begin to ask questions! 

Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside…Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage…Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.
Philippians 2:3-5 (The Message)

My Dear Sister,

You don’t have to succumb to the pressure to compete and compare to other women. Through Jesus, there is something FAR greater. As Paul reminded the church of Philippi, Christians don’t have to push, shove, and force things to happen. We simply need to stay focused on being like Jesus, and the things that happen when we

Jesus was the son of God–the Messiah, and yet, He took the humble position of making himself a human being, even dying a criminal’s death on the cross (v. 7-8). This is our example. He died on the cross for YOU, an individual, and because of Him, you have been promised a beautiful, eternal life. No one and no thing that can separate you from that. Remember this when you find yourself competing/comparing with:

It doesn’t matter how many people put her as their #wcw. It doesn’t matter how many people seem to compliment her and never compliment you. The reason why you don’t look like her or have her body is because you have the body that God has given YOU! And you don’t have to wait for other people to prove to you that it’s true. God proved this when He chose to breathe life into you and it is impossible to compete with anything He created!

It doesn’t matter if she finished school faster, or has more doors opening for her career than you, it is impossible for you to be in competition with her because when God has called YOU to something, it’s not for her, but you. All you need to focus on is the opportunity you already have to serve Him every single day. Fulfillment is not in being more successful than others. It’s in Christ!

So when you find yourself pressured to compete or compare, remember the humility of Christ, and remember all that God has in store for YOU!

Biblical context + further reading: Philippians 2:1-11, Jeremiah 29:11
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Photo credit + model: @maureesullivan (on Instagram)

Finally, brothers, whatever things are…

 true: how the world settles in the morning,

how the shadows become full and solid

   of serious concern: the blood on our knuckles;

 we should never have been pushed this far

     righteous: a compass that has escaped

   every attempt to damage it; bless her

      chaste: young hands braiding gray hair,

     singing sweet kindergarten songs

         lovable: her feet brushing up against yours

       in the night, her warm smelly breath on your lips

           well-spoken-of: those who must conceal themselves

         at every turn and juggle happinesses like chainsaws

             virtuous: the stiff upper lip of a prisoner unjustly incarcerated;

            he did no wrong, and no one can take that away from him

               praiseworthy: one that holds their head

             above the freezing current…

                                                                              …despite it all, despite it all.