For to me, living is for Christ, and dying is even better. - Philippians 1:21
Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, paced around the battlements lamenting, “To be or not to be; that is the question.” Hamlet believed that if he went on living, it would be grim, but if he died, it would be worse!
Paul the apostle walked around his cell, faced with an identical dilemma: “To be or not to be.” His attitude, however, was different from Hamlet’s. “I long to go and be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23), he said, using a military term meaning “to strike the tent.” The tent of his body was being dismantled. He had certainly lost a peg or two in his travels! As he contemplated moving camp and setting up his “new tent” in heaven’s land, he could be pardoned for ruminating that this would be “far better.”
However, he was acutely aware that he had a duty of obligation toward all his spiritual children, not the least of whom were his beloved Philippians. “But it is far better for you that I live,” he agreed, as if caught in an eternal debate. “If I die,” said Paul, “it will be marvelous; if I go on living, it will be great!” You can’t do much to a person who lives by that philosophy.
Are you like Hamlet or Paul? Can you say, “For to me, living is for Christ,” or would you have to say, “For me, to live is misery, anger, hopelessness, depression”? The Christian has Paul’s philosophy of joy—it is the legacy of God’s children.
For Further Study: Philippians 1:20-30
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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