Truly Alive

“For me to live is Christ...” - Philippians 1:21

“For me to live is...”  If someone asked you to finish that sentence without much time to think, what would you say?

For me to live is...sports?

+ Shopping? 

+ Music? 

+ Family? 

+ Work? 

+ The person I’m in love with? Fill in the blank. 

But if I am able to say in all sincerity “to live is Christ”...then I can follow that bold statement with what Paul said next:  “to die is gain.”

Paul lost a lot before he was able to make such a bold statement. 

I don’t know if I can honestly say that I always feel like “to die is gain.” I love my life and want to hang onto it and to the people I love.

Paul’s life was filled with prestige, education, and respect—until he experienced a radical conversion. 

That’s when his life began to unravel. He became mistrusted, persecuted, reviled—even hated. He developed a physical infirmity, which no amount of prayer healed.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me,” he said (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).  “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”

Becoming a Christian made Paul capable of recognizing his weaknesses.

He became more honest, vulnerable, and broken—real. He shared freely how difficult, fractured, and broken he was. He had no need to protect his image, or misrepresent who he was. He simply let the Lord work through him as he labored to strengthen and build up the people God loved.

In all this, he was content, happy, and so committed that he could exclaim, “For me to live is Christ!”

 He had discovered what it means to be truly alive.

 “Fear not that your life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have a beginning.” —John Henry Newman

[Photo: kulanigrl, Creative Commons]