Joy in Spite of Detractors
“Whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice, yes, and I will rejoice” (Philippians 1:18).
Contending with the detractors at Philippi was not a completely new trial for Paul. He had previously learned patience in dealing with the letdowns caused by other supposed supporters (see 2 Tim. 1:15;4:16). Now his opponents were testing his patience to the extreme as they sought to destroy his credibility with his supporters.
The detractors’ tactics might have unsettled the faith of some in the churches, but not Paul’s confidence. He stood up to all the unpleasantness with joy because, as our verse indicates, he knew the
cause of Christ was still being advanced.
Paul’s exemplary behavior under fire provides an obvious lesson for us: no amount of false and unfair criticism should steal our joy in Christ and His gospel. And we can keep rejoicing if we, like Paul, stay devoted to our top priority, proclaiming and glorifying the name of Christ.