25 But I think it’s necessary to send Epaphroditus back to you. He is my brother in the Lord. He is a worker and a soldier of Christ together with me. He is also your messenger. You sent him to take care of my needs. 26 He longs for all of you. He is troubled because you heard he was sick. 27 He was very sick. In fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him. He also had mercy on me. God spared me sadness after sadness. 28 So I want even more to send him to you. Then when you see him again, you will be glad. And I won’t worry so much. 29 So then, welcome him as a brother in the Lord with great joy. Honor people like him. 30 He almost died for the work of Christ. He put his life in danger to make up for the help you yourselves couldn’t give me. 3 Further, my brothers and sisters, be joyful because you belong to the Lord!
The verses that stand out to me in this passage are verses 29 and 30 where it says, “… give him the honour that people like him deserve. For he risked his life for the work of Christ.” Paul acknowledged that Epaphroditus was worthy of honour because of the sacrificial way he lived his life as a Christian.
I am challenged by Paul’s view of what he identifies as being worthy of honour. Society recognises ‘good deeds’ and ‘random acts of kindness’ as being honourable, which they are, however Paul credits Epaphroditus’ honour to his surrender to God’s call. He neared death, yet God showed mercy towards him for the selflessness and faithfulness he lived out.
God, please help me to live an honourable life that glorifies you. Help me to be willing to make sacrifices where needed, to follow Your call. In Jesus’ name.
Written by Laura Samperi