Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Philippians 2:14-16 (NRSV)
The apostle Paul had some rough characters to deal with. Corinth- one of Paul’s major mission destinations- was similar to today’s Las Vegas or Hollywood. It’s hard to be the voice of gentleness and goodness in the depths of debauchery and ruthlessness. Yet that’s what Christians are called to be.
Paul is not talking about being self righteous or having a false piety. We aren’t called to be Pollyannas or prudes. We know there is evil and ill will in this world. Our challenge is to see it and overcome it.
(Jesus said) “I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” John 16:33 (NRSV)
So how can we overcome the world in small ways today? By being an encourager? By saying no to spreading a juicy rumor? Jesus has conquered the world, and in Him we can have the courage to live accordingly.