Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! Philippians 4:1
Do you love and long for your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you consider others your joy and crown? That was the question that came to my mind after reading this verse.
How do we love and long for others? I believe it starts with exhorting (encouraging) each other.
“my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way,”
the Greek word used for crown is stephanos, (also where the name “Stephanie” comes from) refers to a crown of achievement. This type of crown would be awarded after some sort of victory. This differs from the word, diadema which is what kings would wear. I love this verse because Paul is essentially referring to Philippians as his award, or “pride and joy” as they stand firm in the Lord.
For as much as us as parents have “proud moments” when we send our children off in the world to do what we teach them, imagine how much more proud God is of us in these moments.
Paul is proud because he sees the Holy Spirit working in the hearts and lives of Philippians. He has preached and taught the word to them, but it was up to them to “do do something with it.”
It’s like the story of the light in the house:
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
We are to stand firm and share the good news. What good is a light if you never use it.
Shine your light so others can see Jesus in you, friends. So you too can be the joy and crown of the Lord.