Do you know anyone for whom everything is “no problem”, or “no trouble at all”? Whether these people are just laid-back, or genuinely have a heart to serve, I admit that sometimes their responses catch me off guard. In a world where we rush around, chasing after tasks both great and small, and don’t always have time for our fellow human beings, a person who is happy to help is a welcome breath of fresh air.
(Of course, we should make sure that we’re not like the son in Matthew 21:28-32 who agreed to help but didn’t!)
Even the apostle Paul identified something that was “no trouble” for him to do:
Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
Philippians 3:1 NIV
Having in mind an episode from the original Star Trek series, I can almost imagine Paul saying, “It’s no tribble at all!”, but now I have to apologize for a bad pun. (Sorry!)
This reiteration of a message to the church in Philippi was not an inconvenience for Paul. Now, would he (or his scribe, to whom he may have dictated his letters) have liked to save a little bit of ink and time by not going over something that this church already knew? Perhaps, but Paul’s love for his readers was so much greater than the time it took to share a few “repeat messages”, that it was not a big deal. He knew that reminding them of these things could help them remain faithful and protected.
(Curious about what Paul was reminding the church in Philippi about? Take some time this week to read through the entire book of Philippians. It’s only 4 chapters long, but it contains a lot of wisdom packed into a short book.)
So, for those who have experienced the joy of following Jesus, and the blessings of being part of the family of God, how can we reiterate these messages? Here are some thoughts:
- For one thing, we should remind people about God’s truth out of love, with the same understanding as Paul: that the truth of God’s word helps protect people against many kinds of sin, as well as evil forces that fight to prevail in the lives of those who have turned away from sin (and towards God’s good plan).
- When we remind people about God’s word in a loving manner, we shouldn’t be obnoxious or insensitive to others’ situations. The truth is not a stick used to harm others; instead, it is a sign giving directions on the path of life. That means that, as we are being considerate of individual situations, some people may need to hear one part of the message, while others may need to be reminded of another.
- And, it is critical when sharing God’s word that we are sure that we’re accurate. Our own Bible study and time of listening to God helps keep our message on-track.
So, may we reiterate the message of Jesus and the instructions of God to other people. For those who have not yet heard the good news, we can offer them no better news than the one of new life through Jesus (even as we serve others in humility and love). For those who have already learned these things, we can help them by keeping these important words front and center in their minds, as a shield against the onslaught of noise and poison that evil forces send their way. It is “no problem” to do so.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.