Receiving Grace: Philippians 1:25-262
Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
- Philippians 1:25-26
Yesterday, we looked at the idea that Paul saw his life as a channel of grace to others and the challenge to be that kind of channel ourselves. But how are you at being on the receiving end of that grace from other people?
Paul's continuing on with the Philippians is connected with their "progress and joy in the faith" and with their "boasting in Christ Jesus." He doesn't say that they won't be able to grow, experience joy or boast in Christ if they don't have him. But his presence is one important funnel for God to pour joy into their lives.
John Donne said "No man is an island." Statements like these in Paul's writing cut at our individualism and invite us into radical inter-dependence. In doing so, they invite us to experience joy.
Opening ourselves up for God's grace - available specifically through other people - is essential if we're going to receive God's gift of joy as it is being funneled toward us. Otherwise, the joy splats against a closed door rather than entering deeply into a receptive heart.
How open are you to receiving grace from others? What makes this easy or difficult for you?
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