Philippians 1 to 4 How To Encourage!
As Paul welcomed Epaphroditus to his “home” in Rome dressed not in finery but in shackles, he might have reminisced of the first time they met in Philippi. How encouraging to renew special friendships! But, alas, Epaphroditus is ill. Did he contract COVID? No one knows, but this one thing we know is that he came bearing gifts from his beloved Philippians and this was not the first time they had reached out to him to provide what he called the “necessities” of life. Practical encouragement is what we are called to do, and the Philippians lived it 24/7, 365 days a year.
But, as always, there are the naysayers. So Paul reflected that they were not to listen to them. Paul wrote: “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of those who mutilate the flesh.” [Phil 3:2] Instead, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” [Phil 4:4-6]
How do we encourage the faithful? How do we especially encourage the naysayers like our neighbors? Take a page out of the book of Philippians for the how-to encourage!