Our Main Objective in Life

A guest post written by Danni C. DeVera (Philippines)

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Paul illustrated his main objective in life by the athletic contests of the day. The runner had only one thing in mind – to win the race, and receive the crown.

Maybe, Paul liked sports and that is why he uses the runner as an example. Paul must have been concerned with his physical health and wanted to be physically fit in order to do the work of the Lord.

Christians must have this kind of objective in life. We are to set our mind on what is our priority in life (Matthew 8:33).

Paul had an attitude to do one thing at a time, and this one thing was the only one he had in mind to do (Philippians 3:13).

Paul reaches forth with strong exertions like a runner in the race. He was running in this world in order to reach heaven for eternal life. In reaching forth, he forgot what was behind, reaching out to what was ahead.

All opportunities lie before us, and we must go onward no matter what, to obtain our objective in life – eternal life. We all need to go forward because God wants us to (II Peter 3:18).

Our main objective must be to press toward the mark. We should not run outside the line, nor stay off the course that we may not be disqualified.

Our run must not be hindered by any obstacles (trials, suffering, persecutions, etc). In running for our goal, we need to lay aside all excess weight – sins. We must always abide in the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ (II John 9). in order to receive the crown of life.

If we fail to observe the rules of the race we will not reach the finish line. Like Paul, we must always keep our eyes on our objective, which is our Lord Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).

If we do not keep the goal in view, we will not know the direction we are running. We must, like Paul, keep our main objective in life.

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Why Attitude is Your Driving Power

It’s not where you are that’s holding you back; It’s an unsettled mind that refuses to act

You can go anywhere from where you are; The key is attitude that’s hitched to a star

So dare and take that first step today; And success and happiness will come your way (Turner 10-11)

(Turner, J.J. Attitude Power: Keys to Personal Attitude Adjustment. McDonough: Solutions Publishing, 2008. Print.)

——-

After reading the first couple chapters to this book and this poem, I decided to do a brief word study on the word “attitude” as it is used in Scripture. From this I have found some interesting facts. First of all, wherever the New American Standard contains the English word “attitude” in the New Testament, these have come from one of two Greek words.

The first is in root word form. It has one of three definitions. It is pronounced fro-neh-oh (Bauer 1065-1066):

  1. To have an opinion with regard to something, think, form/hold an opinion, judge
  2. To give careful consideration to something, set one’s mind on, be intent on
  3. To develop an attitude based on careful thought, be minded/disposed 

The second is a derivative of the root. It has one of two definitions. It is pronounced fro-neh-sis (Bauer 1066):

  1. The faculty of thoughtful planning, way of thinking, (frame of) mind
  2. The ability to understand, understanding, insight, intelligence

Second of all, the English word “attitude” only appears four times in the New American Standard version.

  1. Luke 1:17
  2. Philippians 2:5
  3. Philippians 3:15 (Here, attitude is found twice)

Are you interested to know the three major conclusions?

One, the passage in Luke uses the second (derivative) word, fro-neh-sis, and its first definition. Here, Luke is describing the faculty of thoughtful planning, way of thinking, or frame of mind. What a cool thought: Attitude is a thoughtful plan, a way of thinking, a frame of mind.

Two, the passages in Philippians 2:5 and 3:15 use the first (root) word, fro-neh-oh, and its first definition. Here, Paul is describing attitude in the sense of thinking, making logical judgment, forming solid opinion. What a cool thought: Considering Philippians 2:1-11, attitude is making up the mind to be like Jesus, who took the form of a servant and became obedient to the point of death on the cross. Considering Philippians 3:14, Paul is calling for Christians to make up their minds to “press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Three, there are about 28-29 derivatives of this root word, fro-neh-oh (Logos Bible Software. The Lexham Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. Logos Bible Software, 2011). After conducting a search of all of these derivatives in the New Testament (Logos Bible Software), the list below is a gathering of all the English words that have been used by the New American Standard translators in the place of each Greek derivative. What a cool thought that “attitude,” through the Greek language, has a close association with the following English words:

  1. Despise
  2. Wise
  3. Shrewd / Shrewdly
  4. Setting
  5. Sensible
  6. Prudent
  7. Right
  8. Foolishness / Foolish / Fool
  9. Setting
  10. Attitude
  11. Merry
  12. Celebrate
  13. Joyously
  14. Glad / Gladness
  15. Rejoicing / Rejoice
  16. Scoffers
  17. Humility
  18. Sober
  19. Courteously
  20. Views
  21. Think / Thinking
  22. Set
  23. Mind
  24. “wise in your own estimation” (Personal favorite: Romans 11:25; 12:16)
  25. “be haughty in mind”
  26. Observes
  27. “to be of the same mind”
  28. Makes
  29. Feel
  30. Intent
  31. “to live in harmony”
  32. Concern
  33. Self-abasement
  34. Discreetly
  35. Self-restraint
  36. Look
  37. Conceited
  38. Discipline
  39. Sensible
  40. Deceivers
  41. Encourage
  42. Disregard
  43. Despising
  44. Harmonious
  45. Madness (II Peter 2:16)

Consider a simple switch in attitude. Whether you are a Christian, or not a Christian, make the choice to be like Christ and share His attitude. Why not have a better attitude?