Another Citizenship | Philippians 3:17-20
Philippians 3:17-20 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Lori and I spent the summer after our second year in seminary in Scotland. We interned at a start-up church and had some other ministry opportunities around the area. On our day off we got in a red Mini and toured the countryside visiting quaint little cities, Loch Ness, and castles. The country was beautiful. The people were warm and accepting. The experience was unforgettable. But by the end of the summer, we were sure ready to get back home.
I am a citizen of the United States of America and proud of it. Whenever there was a negative word said about the USA, I didn’t let it go without a response. In Scotland, I spoke in defense of things I would criticize here. I spoke proudly of our democracy, elected officials, lifestyle, churches, and great places to visit. When one Scot criticized the US for the lack of gun control I spoke so passionately that things were tense between us for the next several days. I love our country! But as I enjoy the blessings, I have to remember that really I have another citizenship.
O, God why don’t I get so worked up when people criticize you as I did when in Scotland people criticized the USA? Why don’t I look forward to heaven as much as I looked forward to getting back to the states? Is it simply because I have experienced living here, but not in heaven yet? Or is there something deeper? Is my mind too focused on earthly things? Do I find too much satisfaction in earthly stuff? What am I really eagerly awaiting? Jesus? Or the “next thing” here on earth?