I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith…
~ Philippians 1:20-25
At first I mourned our difference.
Now I celebrate it:
Like the bittersweet toast
Of two soldiers who go away
To war on different battlefields
Not knowing what of life
Or death the future brings,
Of sorrow or great joy;
But who know
The cause is worth the danger.
One thing that the Lord does not want us to do is to become comfortable—assuming that tomorrow will be just like today, like the scoffers of 2 Peter 3:4. This life is not a garden, it is a battleground. Any security we feel is only a foxhole—temporary and confining. When we meet together as a Body, it is to help one another recover from the war we’re all fighting—and to reassure one another that our Captain, Jesus, is worth the fight.
But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower [of Babel] that the men were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
~ Genesis 11:5-7
The words of your mouth
Let me think your thoughts
Let me dream your dreams
And if our speech is not confounded
If our language is
Oh my love what we
For nothing will be
In Titus chapter two, there are two strong statements about the power of the tongue to both harm and to bless. On the one hand, we are warned to “avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless” (verse 9) as well as told to avoid divisive people. But we are also reminded that what Titus calls “soundness of speech” (verse 7) is something that can unite us against opposition from outside. If we speak with one voice, so to speak, Titus assures us that criticism against us simply won’t stick because there’ll be nothing bad to say about us.
Dr. Latayne C. Scott is the recipient of Pepperdine University’s Distinguished Christian Service Award for “Creative Christian Writing,” and is Trinity Southwest University’s Author in Residence. Her newest book is Talking with Teens about Sexuality: Critical Conversations about Social Media, Gender Identity, Same-Sex Attraction, Pornography, Purity, Dating, Etc. with Dr. Beth Robinson (Bethany Books.) The author of over two dozen published books, including Passion, Power, Proxy, Release (TSU Press) in which these poems appear, she lives and writes in New Mexico. She maintains two websites: Latayne.com and Representationalresearch.com.