How to rejoice living for others? (The example of Apostle Paul)

The Lord Jesus saud that “it is more blessed to give than to receive”, showing to all that one can experience the true happiness only living his life for the good of others and to sacrifice himself for them. It takes more time for people to realize this truth and few are those who understand it, but even fewer are those who apply it to their lives. I propose you to follow up in this article how Apostle Paul lived for others and to learn this from him.

Don’t remain indifferent about others’ needs

Paul was imprisoned when he came to visit Epaphras, from whom he found out that the Christians from Collosae, at that time, were exposed to the danger of a heresy, named in antiqity as gnosticism. The Apostle didn’t know the Christians from that church personally and it seems that he hadn’t yet visited them, but immediately as he had heard the problem and their situation, he didn’t remain indifferent. He wrote this epistle, where he taught and advised them to remain in the pure teaching of the Gospel and to follow up the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is how he wrote to them:

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:1–3)(NASB)

Fulfil needs that can not be fulfilled by others

It seems that, if we talk about the church from Colossae, the spiritual leaders (one of which was Epaphras) were not able to face the heretical attacks. It was needed the intervention of an experienced man, one who knew well the truth of the Gospel, that would have been capable to protect the church. Paul knew the purpose he was labouring for well and the power that was mightly working within him. That’s why, even if didn’t know the Colossians personally, he upraised to protect their faith, as he wrote down:

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God (Colossians 1:24–24)(NASB)

Appreciate and rejoice at others’ success

When he had heard from Epaphras about the church from Colossae, Paul rejoiced for them and he thanked God as we wrote:

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints. (Colossians 1:3–4)(NASB)

In the same chapter he also writes:

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (Colossians 1:9)(NASB)

In the second cahpter of the same epistle he shows his joy, when writing in this way:

For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. (Colossians 2:5)(NASB)

Do all you can for each man’s salvation

Each of us has got a great number of friends, aquintances, relatives, colleagues, etc. While having the day by day works, we forget how important and essential is their salvation. While writing the epistle to Colossians, Apostle Paul was in prison and he could have been bothered with his own problems and sufferings. But he, immediately how he had found out about the need and problem of the Christians from Colossae, he wrote this epistle, because his life’s principle was the following one:

We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me. (Colossians 1:28–29)(NASB)

Put others’ salvation above your own comfort

Once he was imprisoned, it was natural for Paul to appeal to Colossians’ help and prayers for his liberation. But he wasn’t the most concerned with his own liberation, but with the spreading of the Gospel, that was their salvation. In the last chapter of the epistle he writes:

praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. (Colossians 4:3–4)(NASB)

Appreciate others’ work and efforts

It is evident that Apostle Paul fulfilled a very great need of the Colossians through the epistle he had sent them and, maybe, no one else of their leaders was able to fulfil that need. But Paul didn’t overlook any servant of the Christ, that served to others and he contributed to the spreading of the Gospel and to the growing of the church. In the end of the epistle, he related about many people and he said nice words of appreciation with regards to each of them. So he spoke about Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, Justus, Epaphras, Luke and Demas. All these were with Paul, but he didn’t forget about those from Colossae who he had known and he said words of aappreciation with regards to them. You cannot live for others and not to appreciate them for what they are and they do for the Gospel.

How to rejoice living for others?

  • Don’t remain indifferent about others’ needs
  • Fulfil the needs that you are able to fulfil and that others don’t want or can not fulfill
  • Appreciate others’ success and rejoice at them
  • Do all you can do for others’ salvation
  • Put others’ salvation above your own comfort
  • Appreciate the work and efforts of those who work in the Gospel

Do you want to know how to become a true Christian that will inherit the Kingdom of God? I invite you to read the article that will be published tomorrow, where I will present this according to the example of the Christian church from Colossae.

Translated by Djugostran Felicia