conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence,
I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,
striving together as one for the faith of the gospel…”
Philippians 1:27 (NIV)
Perhaps one of the more significant errors a parent can make in trying to motivate their children to behave in a respectable manner is to say something to them such as, “What will my friends think of me if you get arrested for drug possession?”
By making such a comment the parent is clearly not so much concerned about the child—and their well being—as the parent is concerned about their own reputation among their friends. The child learns that they are nothing more to their parents than something to be shown off to others.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for enjoying being part of a good family, with a fine reputation in the world. There is a legitimate pleasure parents can take in a child who is outstanding in some area of life or other.
We can only imagine the pleasure God the Father took in His Son when He said.
“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3:17; 17:5
Enjoying the worth and excellence of a child, parent, spouse, or friend is legitimate.
However, being a child, parent, spouse, or friend who deserves praise and commendation is also to be sought by us. This is what Paul is getting at in our verse today. He is encouraging his readers to live up to the family name.
As children of God we are called to a specific kind of lifestyle. When the Lord reaches into the life of someone He creates within that person a desire for holiness (Hebrews 12:13-15).
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read that those who are in Christ are new creations and the old lifestyle is replaced by an entirely new one. God creates within us a hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
So as we read Paul’s exhortation to the Philippian Christians to live up to the family name, those who are followers of Jesus identify with this sentiment. We know we belong to the family of God and we are concerned to behave in a manner worthy of our calling (2 Thessalonians 1:11).
Christian, whatever the trouble is that slows you down from being all you wish to be as a follower of Jesus, remember the family into which you have been welcomed by your Father in heaven. He Who has called you to His eternal presence will certainly prove faithful and powerful to supply all your needs. Trust Him today and move ahead with confidence. Go and live up to the family name.