Philippians 4:2-9 contains some very popular verses that are often quoted by themselves. While there is profit to be had from thinking on them as units, there is an even more profitable and powerful influence of truth in our lives when we consider them in light of their original context. The commands to rejoice, be gentle, take our anxieties to the Lord in prayer, and think on certain things comes in the context of…. a conflict between two believers.
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1. Take personal responsibility for the conflict (whether directly involved or able to help others reconcile)
2. Seek unity in the Lord
3. Always rejoice in the Lord, not the desired outcome of the conflict
4. Be gentle with each other, knowing that the Lord is at hand
5. Don’t be anxious, but take the matter to the Lord in prayer, with thankfulness (even for the party with whom you disagree), and He will give you a guarding peace you cannot achieve, regardless of the outcome
6. Think on excellent qualities of the other party
7. Follow godly examples of conflict resolution, knowing that the God of peace will be with you in this conflict.
Watch Peter Krol’s blog for additional examination of this passage!