I Send You Greetings – Philippians 4:21

Vol. 2 No. 50 – 12-10-2017

Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. Philippians 4:21

Yes, it is that time of year again when your mail box, and your e-mail box begin to be inundated with greetings. Included are the annual letters. Even in-laws and out-laws pause to send according to their long address lists in order to keep “in touch” with others.

Paul was finishing an epistle, a letter, to the Philippians. He closes with “greetings.” Why does he do that? Did he just remember that he did not do this at the beginning of the letter, and he is now just being polite? Is this just one of those expectations of first century writing? Or, is something else going on?

This really is not simply passing along a “hello.” It is grabbing an opportunity to be an encourager. He wants the believers in Philippi to remember something important. “Thinking of you  . . . you are not alone  . . . we are all in this together!”

I live in Georgia, a not too subtle state for SEC and ACC football. You cannot always get tickets, and when you do they are pricy. Can you imagine me watching a game on TV, and all those thousands of fans standing up to cheer me as my image floods the giant stadium screen? Even though I would be at a distance, the applause might come.

You can almost hear the applause of Paul to his friends, the Philippians.

Good friends and leaders do that. They are kindred spirits who work together in a common venture; members of a team that sets out to revolutionize their generation.

When we send greetings, we are saying to the recipient they are important. And, we are saying we are not just here for ourselves, we are here for them as well.

Friends of and leaders of others need to recognize their impacts upon the personal lives of those acquaintances they have. Believers who communicate with those they serve (yes, leaders are also servants) recognize greetings are strong communications for the value they hold toward others.

I am not here just for me!

A greeting card does not always communicate that. However, it can well be the restart of our recognizing the worth of others in our lives. Perhaps even beginning a habit of communications. (We do not have habits; habits have us!)

Break your mold this year. Send a card, an e-mail, a note of encouragement  . . . pick up your cell phone (it is a familiar toy/tool). When you send a note, make it a hand written one. If you are a leader, stick your head in their office and make it personal. If it is your neighbor, take a loaf of fresh-baked bread or a tin of home-baked cookies. Some may need contact through a bouquet of flowers; what a surprise that would be.

Who needs encouragement from you today? How far distant have you been? It is not just a “Christmas” thing.

Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “today,” lest anyone of you be hardened. Hebrews 3:13

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

December 10, 2017

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