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Summary: Have you ever, even for a moment, wished you were someone else? Have you ever worried that your life, at its end, would be one of insignificance? Have you ever wondered if you’ll ever measure up? Such thoughts can be crippling. Paul has the antidote.

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“Living a Joy-full Life: Be Who You Are”

Phil. 1:1-11

Have you ever, even for a moment, wished you were someone else? Have you ever worried that your life, at its end, would be one of insignificance? Have you ever wondered if you’ll ever measure up? Such thoughts can be crippling.

Whitney Houston was the most-awarded female recording artist of all time. She seemed to have it all, and yet her friend and costar Kevin Costner shared that she struggled with a common problem—insecurity and anxiety about measuring up. When Costner asked her to star in The Bodyguard, she had her doubts. Costner shares what happened on her first day on the set after her hair and makeup were ready: “Whitney was scared. Arguably, the biggest pop star in the world wasn't sure if she was good enough. She didn't think she looked right. There were a thousand things to her that seemed wrong. I held her hand and told her that she looked beautiful … but I could still feel the doubt.” Whitney asked for twenty minutes to collect herself, and then she came to the set. After only four lines they had to stop. Costner took her back to the dressing room so he could show her what he had seen. Costner said: ‘I turned her around so that she could see herself in the mirror and she gasped. All of the makeup on Whitney's face was … streaking down her face and she was devastated. She didn't feel like the makeup we put on her was enough so she'd wiped it off and put on [her own makeup]. It was much thicker and the hot lights had melted it! She asked if anyone had seen … I said I didn't think so. It happened so quick …The Whitney I knew, despite her success and worldwide fame, still wondered ‘Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Will they like me?’ It was the burden that made her great, and the part that caused her to stumble in the end.’”(i) Whitney, you may recall, died in a hotel bathtub, her body ultimately destroyed through decades of drug abuse.

The apostle Paul also had issues. He was weak in his physical stature, his voice was poor, and his confidence shaky. Yet he wrote this marvelous, scintillating joy-filled letter. In fact, he wrote it while in prison awaiting a life or death verdict from his trial. How could he be so joyful? From the very beginning of his letter to the Church at Philippi, Paul expresses how the Philippians can live the same kind of joy-filled lives. But he’s also speaking to you. In his introductory remarks he encourages you to be who you are.

First of all, remember that YOU ARE A SPECIAL PERSON. (1) “To all God’s holy people (‘saints’) in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons...” Paul is writing to the saints in Philippi – to all the believers in Philippi. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, YOU ARE A SAINT. If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior and accepted Him as Lord of your life, you are a saint. True SAINTHOOD IS AN ASSIGNED DESIGNATION NOT AN ACHIEVED STATUS. It is given, not earned. It is a status for the living not an honor for the dead. When you come to believe in Jesus Christ, you are given the destiny and dignity of being a saint.


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