In the English language, the words “you” and “your” can either be singular or plural. One must determine by the context which it is. But in the language of the New Testament, Greek, this is not the case. We clearly know which words are singular and which are plural. It is important to know that in the book of Philippians, all the “you” pronouns used are plural. This is significant because the theme of unity and solidarity runs powerfully and affectionately through this letter of Paul.
The entire Philippian church, not just an individual or two, shared in Paul’s troubles with him. They partnered with him through financial resources, prayer, and ministry. Paul was quite confident that every need the Philippians encountered would be supplied by the riches of God because they had learned a valuable lesson from Paul, and discovered a vital lesson about their church. From Paul, the Philippians were taught that the practice of contentment in all circumstances would bring unity, not division, since it would ease normal anxieties. What the Philippians uncovered about themselves is the seeming paradox that through the practice of giving they become rich.
We are not to be islands only operating at the level of individuation. We are meant to know the blessing of partnering and working together in the unity of the gospel. Learning contentment and generosity go hand-in-hand. Hoarding actually creates anxiety, whereas a collective generous spirit leads inexorably toward satisfaction and joy. If we want to be free of division and being constantly uptight, then we must be wildly generous. Go ahead, try it; you’ll like it. Be generous with your money, generous with your words of encouragement toward others, and generous with your gratitude to God. Find out whether or not this changes your level of contentment with life.
Generous God, your storehouse of grace and mercy is infinite and unending. Help me to partner with you in a manner that my generosity flows in the same way that yours does so that Jesus Christ is glorified, and his church is edified. Amen.