Paul’s prayer for the Philippian believers and thus for all believers of every time and every place is that our love will abound, or grow more and more, between the borders of truth and understanding. This will result in 07 crackedour coming to grasp or discern what’s best in every relationship. Then we’ll find the most “excellent” way to deal with other people in each and every situation we may encounter. If we do this, Paul concludes in Philippians 1:10, that we’ll “be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”

There are two characteristics that would be the result of love flowing between the borders of truth and understanding in all our relationships with others. The first characteristic is the Greek word “eilikrineis.” It’s translated as pure in this passage but it literally means to be “judged by the sun.” To us English speakers that is a strange concept. But it wasn’t for the Greek speakers in Philippi. As Gromacki puts it, “Ancient jars and vases were examined for disguised cracks by holding them up against the rays of the sun.” In the light any hidden flaw will be revealed. Merchants used to fill the cracks in pottery with wax and paint over them to deceive potential customers. Our English word “sincere” comes from the same Latin word. The Latin word, however, literally means “without wax.” All Christians should be transparent. Self-disclosure draws us closer to others and thus helps our love to grow for each other. We need to be without wax in all our relationships. Unfortunately we all have cracks, but when we expose our cracks for what they are we can still live in loving harmonious relationships with each other.

The second trait is “aproskopoi.” The translation “blameless” that most bibles use is a good one. After the examination of our lives, being examined by the sun, this is what should be found. Jesus is the perfect example of a pure and blameless life. Usually when we get to know people better we learn their flaws and see their cracks. The longer we maintain our relationships the more our weaknesses become apparent to each other. In Jesus’ case it was the exact opposite. The longer the disciples followed Jesus, the more his perfection became apparent. The last phrase, “for the day of Christ,” is most frequently translated “until” the day of Christ. But both of them miss the flavor of the Greek preposition “eis” which focuses on movement toward or into something. It’s a dynamic rather than a static idea. None of us will experience the perfect pure and blameless life that Jesus lived. But Paul prays that we’ll continue growing as the Lord’s return approaches. Thankfully, Paul is not praying for our perfection, just our progress.