Happy to help, really happy

I rejoice in my suffering “hyper hymies” tr. for your sake (means “for the betterment of you”)  With my flesh I am “antanaplēroō” tr. “completing” (means: filling up the gaps)  lacking in the “thlipsis” tr. afflictions (means: pressures) of Christ for the sake of His body, which is the church.  Col. 1:24

If Christ’s work of reconciliation is sufficient then this can’t mean there was any lack in Christ’s suffering that Paul must complete. Instead this is about being part of a community, the church.  Like parents who gladly make sacrifices for their children, Paul writes from jail that he is happy to suffer if it means the church as Colossus is made better. Just like now, the church and individuals associated experienced regular life pressures. There were also pressures from people who insisted that the church adopt not only Jewish law, but on a variety of ideas and practices prevalent in the culture. People disagreed within the church. Such pressures can weaken a group and exhaust individuals within it. Think of this pressure like a football line. Gaps weaken the line. Paul is expressing his willingness to fill the gaps left in the line by those who succumb to pressure. This is what people who love one another do. Without shaming, without judgment, out of love, we step in, happy – actually rejoicing – that we can help even when we know it’s going to be a pain to do so. This kind of attitude does not begin as an instinctive response but seems to have evolved into one for Paul.

Lord, I feel like such a lightweight.  Help me to experience this happiness when stepping in for others inconveniences me.