Tim Tebow may have greased “Phil 4:13” onto his face, but Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service takes issue with those who interpret this verse from Philippians (“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”) as God’s rock solid promise that we can achieve anything we dream of achieving. He writes:
When you imagine Paul penning this letter in a dank first-century prison cell—not exactly the new heights and destiny imagined above—you already begin to feel uncomfortable about popular interpretations.
But more than the setting, we must recognize that Philippians 4:13 is part of a larger idea. When we look at verses 11 and 12, the thought begins to take shape:
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Paul isn’t telling Christians that they should dream bigger dreams; he is reminding them that they can endure the crushing feeling of defeat if those dreams aren’t realized. He’s not encouraging Christians to go out and conquer the world; he’s reminding them that they can press on when the world conquers them.
Read full post here.