“I thank my God every time I remember you.”
Philippians 1:3 (NIV)
Most of us who have lived long lives can recall a few people we wish we could forget. Possibly the person hurt you in some way. Perhaps the individual was a nuisance and was phoning you all the time. Whatever the reason, you would have preferred not to have had them in your life in the first place.
On the other hand if we are truly honest with ourselves, we will admit that we have messed up here or there in our personal relationships. For one reason or another we have soured our memory in some peoples’ minds.
As Paul recalls his time in Philippi and his relationship to the Christians there, he has every reason to be thankful for them and not even one reason to be disappointed or discouraged about them.
These people must have been very special Christians indeed! How can anyone live in such a way that those around them do not find any fault, any slip, and flaws whatever? Well, thankfully some people seem to live that way.
Now if you read 1 Corinthians you find a church that is messed up beyond description. Paul must have had migraine headaches every time he thought about that church. They were spiritually immature, hopelessly divided, selfish, lacking in the understanding of Christian truth, happy to have immoral people in their midst, and on the long list of failures and sin goes.
I recall hearing of a church that gave itself the name, “The Corinthian Church”. They used that name to emphasize that the church was charismatic. Sadly they did not understand that the most charismatic church of apostolic time was nothing but a disaster.
What is it that made this church in Philippi such a joy to Paul? It takes the rest of the letter to see all that is good about this fellowship of faith.
Can you seek to be the type of Christian who is desirable to all who see you? The Christian who most blessed me over the years was a lady who became paralyzed in her 30’s and soon went blind. She was already over 50 years in an institution when I first met her. All the staff in the place where she lived loved her greatly. She was joyful in the Lord and often the staff could hear her softly praying or singing to God’s glory.
Many people would suggest her life was wasted, but I know of no Christian who was healthy and active who touched lives as profoundly as she did. When she sang Amazing Grace there was an authenticity in her voice that is lacking in the lives of those who have never suffered deeply.
Take the sorrow you have in life, dedicate it to God and use it to influence others to seek the Lord. Your voice will come across with an authority that others lack. Get busy exalting the Lord from where you sit and you and those around you shall be blessed.