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Philippians 4:14 Participants in Paul’s affliction

26-04-2023 - Posted by Hans

Moreover, you do ideally in your joint contribution in my affliction.

Paul never appealed to others to assist him in his labors. Because he had learned to be content with circumstances and to be independent of people in them. To be autarkic, self-sufficient (:11). However, that does not alter the fact that Paul was very happy (:10) with the gift he had received from the Philippians (:18). That may seem contradictory, but it is not. Refusing to beg doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate support. Paul did not ask for gifts, but greatly appreciated receiving them!

The “affliction” he writes about refers to the pressures of imprisonment. For the necessities of life (food, clothing, writing materials, etc.) he was apparently largely dependent on others. How good it is then to find that others are indeed thinking of you! For Paul, the appreciation for the gift does not lie primarily in the support itself (:17), but in the realization that the Philippians participated in his tribulation. The word for “participation” in Greek (koinoneo) is the same as the word for “community.” The Philippians demonstrated their solidarity with the prisoner Paul and with the Good Tidings he heralded (1:5)!