Verse: Philippians 4:14-19
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
I’ve got a hot take on this topic. Do you see how Paul, the author, writes that the church at Philippi was the only church who did anything to help ease his suffering? The other churches were sending Paul some “thoughts and prayers” while he was stuck in prison, but wouldn’t personally do anything for him. It’s like the story of The Good Samaritan in real life. They missed the point.
Here’s the hot take I promised: God wants you to do things! You don’t need to pray for God to materialize a meal for someone who just had a baby. You make the meal. You don’t need to pray for God to comfort someone in the hospital. You go visit and be their comfort. You don’t need to pray for God to make someone not feel lonely or sad. You befriend them. I guess God could do these things, but the Bible is pretty clear that we are supposed to be doing the things. Feeling bad for someone in need is supposed to be a little cue to stimulate you to take real action. So just go help. Do what Jesus would do, or as close to it as you can. The gift to Paul was probably modest, but it was clearly meaningful, since Paul wrote a letter about it that made it into the Bible.
So, what can we do?
What if we consistently check in on our friends who are suffering with mental health issues?
What if we made a meal for people who are hungry or too tired to make something?
What if we cleaned and fixed up houses for people who can’t do it themselves?
What if we befriend lonely people?
What if we tell people something we like about them, and encourage them?
What if we send a gift to show someone we care about them?
What if we drive people to appointments?
If we did these types of things, we’d probably seem a lot like Jesus. This is the whole point of why CityLight has the mission to “Seek, love, and care for people like Jesus does”. Be that light for others.
God, show me one thing I can do today to help someone else. (Step 2: go do it)
Author: Jordan Ambra