What happens when you and a friend decide to run a marathon together? Commit to help your neighbor fix the fence between your houses? Work out a plan to actually to start an exercise or diet program with a friend? Willingly accept a position on a committee that is based on teamwork? Or give someone permission to hold you accountable for some life style habit that you really want to change? Statistics and experience both confirm that surprising and positive things happen when people work together. There is more motivation, energy, sticktoitivness, and the chance of success greatly increases. Of course, there is also the chance of failure or disappointment, but as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 4: 9 – 10 – “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the one who falls and has no one to help him up.”
Evidently Paul, the writer of the letters to the new believers in Philippi and Thessalonica, knew that he could motivate them to change their behavior or old habits by using the phrase “Let Us.” He was gently reminding them that he and Timothy also needed to be aware of specific attitudes and ways of living that did not reflect their faith in Jesus. Rather than pointing a finger at them or rebuking them, he chose to encourage and inspire them. He wanted them to understand that these changes would not happen because of their own determination or will power, but that it was God who would work in and through them to give them the desire and also the strength to mature and to do God’s will rather than their own.
What’s your best illustration of a time when you let God direct your path and at the same time gave you a companion to help you avoid the pitfalls and continue on in the right direction? It’s what our faithful God promises to do for us!