Intentions stalled out1
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
- Philippians 4:10
Paul was writing to big-hearted, generous, helpful people who had – for reasons we’ll see this week – struggled to partner with Paul in the way they had wanted. We aren’t the first to have our desire to serve challenged by the demands of life.
We all struggle to live according to our best intentions. If we were able to actually do all the good we would like to do … well … we’d do a lot of good! But our execution almost always lags behind our intention.
Paul assumes that his Philippian readers feel concern, want to serve, but just haven’t had an opportunity to show it. He assumes the best of them. He doesn’t guilt or shame them for their inaction. But he also doesn’t assume that their past inaction will carry forward into the future.
Don’t let guilt or shame over past inaction keep you from making a difference in the future. You’ve been given great strengths. Maybe even a big-hearted, generous, helpful personality.
Can you receive this? Will you accept that your intentions are meaningful even if you can’t always follow through on them? Will you take them to the Lord and invite him to help you to do what you can for who you can as often as you can?