16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained (Philippians 3).
One of my favorite movies ever is Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, where an idealistic civilian is suddenly thrust into the Senate by a Governor’s appointment. His idealism is soon put to the test by the corruptness he uncovers, including one renowned senator whom he had always admired, who himself even tries to destroy him. The climax of the movie comes a few moments after Senator Smith says these words: “Great principles [like liberty and justice] don’t get lost once they come to light. They’re right here. You just have to see them.”
The verse before us reveals how we are responsible to keep on seeing those truths we have been given. The Christian life is not on a downslope, nor even on level terrain. No, it is on an upslope, as we are responsible to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (verse 14). If we do not press upward in “living by that standard to which we have attained,” then we will always slip downward. It’s just impossible to coast on an upslope.
Lord, thank You for the standards You have revealed to us. Help us This Day not to attempt any spiritual coasting, but to press upward and continue to live by them in all that we do. Amen.