Words of Honor & Encouragement

Message:  Philippians 4 is the ending to Paul’s letter to the church of Philippi. He began by urging them to help some named women who contended for the gospel and worked alongside Paul’s team. From there Paul expressed gratitude to the church for their support not only financially, but also in encouragement and in partnership to sharing the gospel. I think it’s important to note that he was taking time to acknowledge those who had been with him and supported him from the very beginning and when none of the other churches did. He was adding value to their faithfulness and loyalty. In my opinion, Paul’s example of gratitude also made his request of the church for support of the women more valid. His letter to this church was not very long in comparison to the other churches and the bulk of it was gratitude and encouragement. As I read Paul’s letter I thought about the importance of honor. When we honor those who have helped us we honor the sacrifices they have made and reward their loyalty. This is such an important part of relationship and yet we often neglect to do this with the most relationships in our lives. Those who have been with us through it all. For some reason we are often better at thanking strangers and acquaintances. This challenged me to think about some very specific ways I can honor and acknowledge the most important relationships in my life. For me, I often think about the ones I love most and honor them in my thoughts, but I need to be more intentional about speaking these things to them. Particularly to my husband. I find that I struggle with finding the words to honor without sounding condescending like a parent or teacher. These kinds of words of encouragement are life-giving if they are done well.

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