Don't Worry About Me

But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. Phil 2:25

As Philippians 2 ends, we meet Epaphroditus. Here’s a man very different than Timothy. Epaphroditus is the one who brought the gift from Philippi, and the one who bore this wonderful letter back to the Philippian church. His popularity is evident from the fact that he was chosen by the church for this difficult task. He was probably one of those whose natural disposition makes him popular and prominent in any group.

Paul says the quality he most appreciates in Epaphroditus is helpfulness. Notice he says, “I’m sending back to you…my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my need.” All these wonderful titles add up to one who is a marvelous helper who demonstrates a selfless concern that’s the distinctive mark of a believer in Christ.

Verse 26 says, “For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.” Word had gotten back to Philippi that this man had been terribly sick, and Epaphroditus is concerned that they be over-anxious about him.

I couldn't help contrasting that with so many today who become distressed because we haven’t heard they were ill! I meet people like that occasionally. Now and then I’ll greet someone and notice there’s a bit of coolness. Finally it comes out and they’ll say, “Didn't you hear that I was sick?” I say, “No, I didn't hear that.” Then, “Well, I expected I’d have a visit, but no one came.” I wonder just how people expect to have a visit on that basis. It's interesting that when people are sick, they’ll call a doctor; but they expect the pastor or their Christian friends to get the news by osmosis, and then get upset because word hadn't arrived.

Well, there was no such self pity in Epaphroditus. His concern isn’t one of self pity because he was so desperately sick, but of anxiety lest they be over-wrought in their worry for him. Even in the midst of his own personal distress, he continues to exhibit selfless concern for others. What a beautiful picture! You can see the character of Christ in him.

Prayer: Lord, give me a spirit of helpfulness. I know it doesn't come naturally, but rather by a quiet dependence on you and a readiness to be used by you and for the work of your kingdom. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment