Philippians 4:2-9 (NRSV)
2 I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
Some years ago in Paris, a handsome young aristocrat went to see a psychiatrist. From all appearances, the young man had everything going for him and the psychiatrist wondered why he was there. When the young man sat down, he revealed his inner distress and said to the doctor, "Please help me. I feel so empty inside. My life is going nowhere. I am bored to death, depressed and miserable. Please help me."
The psychiatrist was impressed with the client's obvious station in life and even a bit envious of his good looks and wealth. For that reason, he did not hear the intensity of the man's plea. All the doctor could think about was the notorious playboy of Paris, Grimaldi. And so the doctor said to the young man, "I know what you need. You need to talk to Grimaldi. He will show you how to enjoy life and find happiness. He has all the money a person would ever need and seems to enjoy life. Yes, you need to talk to Grimaldi." "But sir," said the young man, "I am Grimaldi!"
Who we are is not determined by our status or superficial badges of success. Paul would say that who we are is determined by Whose we are. Whose we are is evident by our integrity, moral courage, and by our capacity to cope with adversity. Our identity is confirmed in our capacity to love others, to make choices that don't always benefit us personally, and to move through life's reversals with honor and a grateful heart. Think about it.