Jack Roeda

READ : Philippians 3:17-21

Their minds are set on earthly things. (v. 19)

If there are godly models in the church, there are also ungodly ones. Though Paul’s language is general, he may well have had specific people in mind as he writes of those who live as enemies of the cross. Perhaps these are people whose view of the faith allows them a good deal of undisciplined self-indulgence. “Relax!” they say. “We’re saved by grace.” As Voltaire supposedly remarked: “The world is remarkably well arranged; I like to sin and God likes to forgive.”

Paul also speaks of people whose “god is the belly”; he means those ruled by their appetites. And of course, living in a consumer society, the danger is immense that we be driven by our belly. Rabbi Joshua Heschel writes: “The alarming fact is that man is becoming ‘a fighter for needs’ rather than ‘a fighter for ends.’ Needs are looked upon as if they were holy, as if they contained the totality of existence. Needs are our god, and we toil and spare no effort to gratify them.”

In Greek mythology, Atlanta loses the race because her opponent rolled three golden apples in front of her that she stopped to pick up. In this life’s race the world entices us with its golden apples. We are not to be distracted by them and so turn from Christ.


Lord, keep me fixed on you. Amen.