Friendship and courage; Philippians 1:18-26

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[a] 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me. (Philippians 1:18-26, TNIV)

I have been reading these ancient words of St Paul. His situation was very different to mine and his spirituality and courage of an entirely different sort. But the text gives me hope  and comfort nevertheless. It speaks of thankfulness for the prayers of his friends and supporters,  and the courage that results from his life in the spirit following those prayers.  I am likewise thankful for the staggering support of my family and friends and people far and wide. It has sustained me and given me  the courage that I really needed. Joy has been a little harder to come by at times but i do have the delight of my wife and kids and the pleasure of friendships. And if  I can be an encouragement to others then perhaps something good can come from ” living in this [broken] body”

About Author

Shane is an ethicist and theologian, Honorary Associate for the Centre of Disability Research and Policy, the University of Sydney, and Assistant Director, Policy, at the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation against People with Disability. Shane is proudly disabled, and an occasional blogger on


  • Dan Clifton
    August 21, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Bianca and I reading your post Bianca wanted to share this quote with you that sits on our fridge

    Your life matters
    You are not here by mistake, by chance
    You are here to make a contribution that can only be made by you
    Your value does not lie in what you do but who you are
    You are the gift
    We are here to release all that is false or limiting about ourselves and to grow and blossom into all that we truly are.

    (From “Your Life Matters” Petrea King)

  • Tanya Riches
    August 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    you’re awesome Shane.


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