[forthright] Healing A Fracture

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 13:09:00 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross



COLUMN: Fidelity

Healing A Fracture
by Mike Benson

It was obvious that she (i.e., Christ's bride at
Philippi) wasn't feeling her "normal" self.
Typically, she was a hardworking, energetic, and
active (Philippians 1:5,6) lady, but in recent
days she was uncharacteristically weak and
uncoordinated.

A family member suggested that she set up a
doctor's appointment (Philippians 4:3). Her
symptoms didn't demand an immediate visit to the
ER, but they couldn't just be ignored either (Mark
3:17). That nagging "ache" served as overt
evidence of a deeper, underlying problem. Then
too, failure to get treatment might make her more
susceptible to other, more serious, ailments which
could threaten her entire system (1 Corinthians
12:26).

Her doctor, a trusted family practioner, ran a few
tests and confirmed his diagnosis -- she had
suffered a small "fracture" (Philippians 4:2). As
a result, he recommended a combination of
therapies and scribbled (Hebrews 1:1,2; 2 Timothy
3:16) a prescription on his notepad -- Philippians
4:4-7:

Take A DAILY DOSE of joy. "Rejoice in the Lord
always" (v. 4). Unlike Paul, who could find joy in
the confines of a Roman prison, some members of
the Philippian fellowship experienced despair.
They focused on the dispute (i.e., fracture)
between Euodia and Syntyche (which in turn,
affected the whole congregation). The apostle
cautioned against this inappropriate emphasis and
suggested that the saints needed to "keep on
rejoicing" in view of their relationship with the
Lord (Matthew 5:10-12).

EXERCISE gentleness. "Let your gentleness be known
to all men" (v. 5a). The word translated
"gentleness" means strength under control and
referred to the taming of a wild animal. When an
animal was brought under control by a trainer, it
retained all of its physical prowess, but the
trainer controlled the use of it. Euodia and
Syntyche, like the other Philippian members, must
have had strong personal feelings, but needed to
exercise control over them (2 Peter 1:6). Losing
their tempers and/or tongues would only exacerbate
this congregational wound (Proverbs 29:11).

Remember that THE DOCTOR IS always ON CALL. "The
Lord is at hand". If she really wanted to help
mend the fracture (John 5:6), the church needed to
remember the nearness of the Lord (Hebrews 13:5b-
6; Psalms 119:151; Matthew 28:19; Acts 17:27) and
that he genuinely cared about this situation (1
Peter 5:7; Hebrews 2:17). The realization of his
present nearness would have a calming and
reassuring effect.

Cut anxiety out or your DIET. "Be anxious for
nothing" (v. 6). The Greek word translated
"anxious" means to draw in different directions.
Some church members were pulled apart with worry
over the disagreement between their two sisters in
the Lord. Even though these women believed the
same gospel, stood for the same doctrine, and had
their names in the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5),
some Christians could only fret (Luke 10:41).
Paul, under inspiration, suggested that this
useless (Matthew 6:27) activity needed to be cut
completely out of the Philippians' spiritual diet.

Communicate your SYMPTOMS to the Great Physician.
"... By prayer and supplication, with
thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to
God" (v. 7). The concerns of the saints were to be
taken to the throne of God. Even though He was
already aware of the Philippian fracture (Matthew
6:8), the church needed to step out in faith and
leave this problem in his skillful hands (Daniel
6:10,11).

"There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded
whole; there is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-
sick soul."

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