Corrective Lens

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9

When I was four years old, I was screened for pre-school and they recommended I get my eyes checked. This led to glasses and a whole new world. Prior to wearing glasses, I was able to function, but with corrective lenses, I was able to navigate, appreciate, and excel in areas that had previously been fuzzy and obscured.

As Paul is nearing the end of his letter of encouragement to the Philippians, he reminds them to put on the corrective lens of the gospel in order to see clearly in the world. We don’t need to isolate ourselves from the world, instead, we can evaluate, appreciate, and celebrate all manner of things in the world simply by looking at them in light of Christ. Paul reminds them to put into practice what they have been taught and seen demonstrated, as the outgrowth of meditating on what is truly virtuous in the world. Considering the ramifications of Jesus’ actions on our behalf enables us to engage with the good we see in our world. Gordon Fee puts it this way, “As believers in Christ they[the Philippians] will embrace the best of that world as well, as long as it is understood in the light of the cross.”

As we learn to see clearly and interact meaningfully in the world as Christian people, we always have the assurance that the God who brings everlasting peace is with us. So we don’t need to worry because God through the gospel helps us to see clearly and to know more and more about what is worthy of our praise and attention.

God of Peace,
We thank you that our hearts can rest in you. We thank you for the gospel of forgiveness, new life, and kingdom purpose. Help us to put on the corrective lens of the gospel so that we can rightly view the world. We thank you for the common grace that is all around us in creation and in people the world over. Help us to consider and put into practice all that you teach us in your word and through your Spirit. Amen

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