I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me. Philippians 4:13 NABRE
Paul is writing to the community at Phillipe from captivity, to thank them for their support and to encourage them. Although he is in prison this letter is seen as joyful, even happy. Paul is closing out the letter thanking the community for their recent financial aid. Paul appreciates their support but speaks about being able to live self-sufficiently as well as being able to live with abundance. Paul trust in divine providence. In fact his peace comes from acknowledging that he is utterly dependent on God. He summarizes his message in the quoted verse which we may have heard as “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” (RSV translation) If we have moments in our life when we do not have enough, are needy, we don’t really have a choice, we are dependent on God for our help. It is why the poor live closer to the Lord than the rich. But how we live when we have an abundance can really define who we are in Christ. A good many of us in North America live in abundance. We struggle with knowing what living in abundance does to others who have less than we do. We have an image of richness, needing nothing. Others see what we have and ask for help. With the advent of Social Media people from around the world connect with people in North America hoping to find aid for their life. We can get numb to their requests for help.
Do you have an abundance and struggle with ways to help? We need to live simply, use only what we need and find ways to share what we have but do not need. Sometimes we fear a future without and hang on to extra for a rainy day. This is not depending on God, but depending on self. We are not like Paul in this case, empowered by the divine.
Are you aware of all you have? What can you live without?Do you have an abundance and struggle with ways to help? We need to live simply, use only what we need and find ways to share what we have but do not need. Click To Tweet
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