Making light of small matters, &c.

A bad plan is better than no plan at all. A bad plan has a chance, however small, of going somewhere. No plan guarantees going nowhere. Likely, perfectionists will be the main objectors to this.

• “… one who makes light of small matters will gradually sink,” says Ecclesiasticus (not Ecclesiastes) 19:1 NJB. Methinks there’s a truth here, applicable to the slippery slope where men slowly slide into false doctrine. (All that alliteration was unintended.) Remember the old illustration (which is almost certainly false) of the frog in the pan?

• Epaphroditus was sent by the Philippian church to minister to Paul’s needs, besides carrying some financial help (Php 2:25-29). Instead, he got deathly sick. When he returned to Philippi, the saints might have thought him a failure, since instead of his ministering to Paul, Paul would have had to take care of him. But the apostle will have none of that. He gives him a rousing recommendation as he sends him home. Even shares his title of “apostle” with Epaphroditus, though of course in a different sense, of being the Philippians’ messenger or envoy. Some scholars think this passage is the heart of the book.

• The envoy who looks like a failure is really a success. Sound familiar? Read earlier in the chapter, verses 5-8.

• Anybody done any real work on the meaning of “work out” in Philippians 2:12? Obviously, it must relate to the obedience mentioned in the same verse. NLT has a definite twist in its rendering, making one wonder if this is accurate or slanted by evangelical faith-only doctrine. NCV sounds better to my ears (“Keep on working to complete your salvation”), but either might be right. Got an insight here into the contextual meaning?

• People love Fridays so much, because they can flee work for a couple of days. Is it a sign that work is not considered a legitimate means of service to God? Makes one wonder.

• Finally, a scrap of poetry, on a matter not so small.

Never did a human hope
Take quicker wing to headier heights,
Nor did a hand reach greater scope
Or covetous eyes see grander flights,

Than Eve before the Knowledge Tree
Of good and evil in Eden’s midst—
No harm so deep to humanity,
That fruit in her rebellious fist. —JRM

#philippians, #poetry, #slippery-slope, #sweat-the-small-stuff