It’s no trouble for me to repeat the same things to you because they will help keep you on track. – Philippians 3:1a (CEB)
I was taught that when scripture writers really want you to learn something, they’ll repeat it three times. Important messages will be repeated. To drive home the message, it will be repeated.
It’s tiresome to repeatedly receive the same message. OK, enough, we get it! Why do you repeatedly repeat that message?
It’s just as tiresome to be the one repeating the message. How many times do I have to repeat it? Don’t you get it yet?!
Scripture shows Jesus getting frustrated about repeatedly teaching the same lessons. But Paul in his letter to the Philippians is unbothered by repeating himself. It’s no trouble at all! Better to keep repeating and receiving the message until we know it and live it by heart.
The more a message is repeated and received, the more likely we are to understand, believe, absorb, and internalize it and then live it out. But careful now! This is the case for both life-giving truths and soul-crushing lies. The world repeats plenty of damaging lies presented as truths. And if we’re honest, sometimes the church has repeated those same lies as well. Which is exactly why we need to repeatedly repeat and receive the messages of stubborn hope, justice-filled peace, boundless joy, and liberating love.
So I’ll keep repeating these same things. It’s no trouble for me.
And I’ll repeatedly receive these same things from you. That’s no trouble for me, either.
And maybe it will help keep us both on the life-giving track of discipleship.
Repeat these things to me again, Divine Truth-Teller. Sometimes I need repeated reminders to keep on track. Amen.