…as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. Philippians 2:16. (EHV).
On this Christian walk, one part of our reward is pride in what we’ve done. Mind you, excessive or misplaced pride is destructive. There are numerous verses throughout scripture that talk about how God hates our misplaced pride, how He will bring us low for it because it puts up a wall between Him and us.
That’s not what Paul was talking about here.
When you or I start with kindness, letting Jesus’ light shine through us, He is justifiably proud of us. God IS proud of us when we follow Him closely, when we live the way He asks us to live. It’s ok for us to feel the same way.
That’s how Paul felt about the Philippians. He was proud of their faith, proud that they were taking what he had taught them about Jesus and put it into practice. He was proud, satisfied to know God had let him to have a hand in bringing it about. We don’t know if Paul ever made it back to Philippi; probably he didn’t. So it made him feel happy to know that his friends kept up what he taught them. That his legacy would endure.
It’s ok for us to feel the same way. Just last weekend, I attended the 20th anniversary celebration of my daughter-in-law’s church. Hope Fellowship has been around since 2000 when its (now senior) pastor moved here from Nashville to plant a new church. It started in a day care center, later moved to an elementary school, then later, still, moved into its own large building. An interesting side-note is that my own church, Water’s Edge, started in this exact same way in the exact same day care and school (not long after Hope moved out).
The Hope pastor, John McKinzie, reminisced about their first service, which had a good turnout of over 50 people. Today, the church’s membership is in the thousands, spread over three campuses. John spent much of the sermon reminiscing, talking about how God richly blessed the fellowship by bringing people and their talents to bear in spreading the Gospel. You could tell from watching him that he felt proud at having had a hand in bringing it about. That God had worked through him and the group he led to make it happen; to grow the faith. To walk where Jesus led.
While we live here, we SHOULD feel proud to do our part in God’s kingdom work. We should feel happy about it; it’s ok for us to boast in Christ about the good things He does in and through our lives. Paul did; Paul would.
For further reading: Proverbs 8:13, Isaiah 25:11, Philippians 2:17
Lord Jesus, I’m thankful and proud of what You do in remaking me and working through me!