By: Holly Reimer
Reflection—v. 17, join in imitating me
We enter this passage with Paul’s appeal for the Philippians to follow his example. Paul writes, encouraging the Philippians to put aside their own self-interest for the benefit of the larger community—something he writes while he is in prison! In this letter, Paul is trying to encourage the Philippians to live a more loving life together. He knows that life in community is messy but he urges the church members to turn away from their insecurities and self-interest, moving toward the compassion and goodness that the gospel teaches us. So often, we have a fear of those who are different from us. Our concern for our own well-being overwhelms us, and our heads start to dance with fear from imagining extreme ‘what if’ situations. Ultimately, these nightmares are of our own making and keep us from knowing wonderful people. I would have missed so many glimpses of grace if I had allowed my insecurities and self-interest to dominate my life. Society tells us that we should be scared of those without permanent housing and mental illness, but with them I have seen much more generosity and humility and grace than I had when only thinking about what might keep me safe.
Prayer Lord, thank you for the opportunities to get to know all your children more. Take my insecurities and self-interest and replace them with the desire to love everyone more.