Supporting Each Other in Work (Philippians 4:10–11, 15–16)
Paul thanks the Philippians for their support for him, both personal (Phil. 1:30) and financial (Phil. 4:10–11, 15–16). Throughout the New Testament, we see Paul always striving to work in partnership with other Christians, including Barnabas (Acts 13:2), Silas (Acts 15:40), Lydia (Acts 16:14-15), and Priscilla and Aquila (Rom. 16:3). His letters typically end with greetings to people with whom he has worked closely, and are often from Paul and a co-worker, as Philippians is from Paul and Timothy (Phil. 1:1). In this he is following his own advice of imitating Jesus, who did almost everything in partnership with his disciples and others.
As we noted in Philippians 2, Christians in the secular workplace don’t always have the luxury of working alongside believers. But that doesn’t mean we can’t support one another. We could gather with others in our professions or institutions to share mutual support in the specific challenges and opportunities we face in our jobs. The “Mom-to-Mom” program is a practical example of mutual support in the workplace. Mothers gather weekly to learn, share ideas, and support each other in the job of parenting young children. Ideally, all Christians would have that kind of support for their work. In the absence of a formal program, we could talk about our work in our usual Christian communities, including worship and sermons, Bible studies, small groups, church retreats, classes, and the rest. But how often do we? Paul went to great lengths to build community with the others in his calling, even employing messengers to make long sea voyages (Phil. 2:19, 25) to share ideas, news, fellowship, and resources.