November 11, 2009
READ: Philippians 2:19-30
Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem. —Philippians 2:29
A report by the Chicago Tribune said: “Scores of Americans, from clergymen to lawyers to CEOs, are claiming medals of valor they never earned.” Fabrication of war records and bogus claims of bravery are more widespread than imagined. One man, who falsely claimed a Navy Cross, later felt shame and said that real heroes rarely talk about what they’ve done.
Heroism is marked by an unselfish risking of life for the benefit of another. In Philippians, Paul commends two of his colleagues as true heroes of the faith. Timothy’s unselfishness and proven character gained Paul’s praise as a true son who had served with him in the gospel (2:22). And Paul described Epaphroditus as “my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier” (v.25) who risked his life for the work of Christ (v.30).
Paul told the believers in Philippi to “hold such men in esteem” (v.29). Honoring fellow believers for their unselfish service to God is a biblical mandate. It is not hero worship, but an attitude of respect for a life well lived.
Through a word of encouragement or a tangible expression of appreciation, who can you honor today for their humble valor in serving the Lord and helping others in His name? — David C. McCasland
Heaven’s heroes never carve their name
On marbled columns built for earthly fame;
They build instead a legacy that springs
From faithful service to the King of kings. —Gustafson
Faith in Christ can make extraordinary heroes out of ordinary people.