Tell Them Again
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. (Philippians 3:1)
How many times have you heard a preacher say, “And finally,” but they continue speaking for another 30 minutes? I have to admit that I’ve done that myself, and I am happy to say that I’m in good company.
Paul began the third chapter of Philippians with finally. He isn’t closing his message, though. He wrote 44 more verses after his finally. The word finally here is loipon in Greek, and it means as for the rest. It would be better translated, furthermore, so then or in regard to the rest of the matter. Paul told the Philippians that regardless of how the rest of the situation played out, they were to rejoice in the Lord. Remember that Lord means the Supreme Authority. We can rejoice even when things are falling apart around us because Jesus is the Supreme Authority. He reigns over governments, economies, diseases, and anything else that influences our lives.
Grievous means not irksome. Paul was expressing the fruit of the Spirit of patience towards the Philippians. He was saying, “I am not irked because I have to tell you again.”
Safe means secure. Paul understood that people need to hear things many times and often in many ways before they truly grasp any new or challenging concept. Some psychologists believe it takes at least seven repetitions before an original thought takes root in people's minds.
What was Paul trying to cement in the Philippians' thinking? It was: “Rejoice! Regardless of your circumstances, Jesus is Lord. He is the Supreme Authority over everything that concerns you.” Paul was an anointed preacher and teacher. He understood that people often have to be told things repeatedly until the light comes on in their hearts and minds.
Practical Application – Be patient with your children, your co-workers, and others you are leading or teaching. Be willing to repeat what they need to know to succeed.
2 Corinthians 13:2; Galatians 5:21