Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. (ESV)
What motivates you to action? As a child you may have been threatened with punishment if you did not do something that your parent asked you to do. Perhaps, you were promised a reward instead of being threatened with punishment. The reality is, there are times when we are called to action. For the believer in Christ, this is definitely so. How should we be motivated to action? Paul helps us in this.
Paul was an apostle. Part of his God-given role was to give instruction to believers and call them to action. We find an instruction in this verse. He says, "stand firm thus in the Lord." This is a command to take the instruction that Paul has given in this epistle and take an active stand against the false teachers who had caused so much trouble in the church and undermined their faith.
What strikes me is not just that Paul gives instruction, but the way that he gives it. Notice that before Paul tells the Philippian believers what to do, he reminds them how much he loves them. This is such an important aspect of godly leadership. I believe that the best way to motivate someone to action is out of a relationship of love.
There are far too many leaders who feel that because they have a position of power they can just bark orders at people to move them to action. While a person may or may not perform for a barking leader the ultimate result will likely be passive aggressive resentment toward an inconsiderate leader. If you are a leader in any context, follow Paul's example. Love first. Love gives you the license to lead.
Your Savior loves you more than you will ever be able to imagine. He always leads you with love. Follow him. Obey him. And if you lead others, love them like Jesus.
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