15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
I was reading these verses and it reminded me of my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Rogers. She managed to do something that amazed us even to this day. For that one year of my academic life, I made all “A’s” in school. She had a way of motivating and drawing out potential in me that I never really understood at the time and never managed to duplicate at that level in school again(much to my Mom’s dismay). Here Paul is encouraging us to live up to what we already have. This seems kind of strange until you realize the implications of it. Just like my teacher was able to get the most out of me by expecting and encouraging the best. Paul is looking to help us get the most we can by encouraging us to do the best we can. Look at his earlier admonition to press toward the goal. And in the next chapter he tells us we can do all things through Christ. Be encouraged. You can do it.