One of the common themes in the book of Philippians is REJOICING IN THE LORD. How do I know that? Because Paul mentions the word “rejoice” 7 times in this short, little letter! He uses repetition to make a point and has no problem repeating himself so that the listener would understand him.
Phil 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Paul isn’t the only one who repeats himself in the Bible:
The apostle Peter wrote 2 letters to the church, and in the second letter he states the importance of reminding people some of the same truths they already knew and he had already written them about.
2 Peter 1:12-13 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder,
Jude writes “Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it” and in a similar way, repeats some of the same truths to his listeners.
And even Jesus repeats certain themes and concepts over and over again as He taught people here on earth. For example, Jesus talked about money a lot and repeated this theme several different times in serval different ways to make the same point: Live for God and not money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions.
So, what’s the deal with all this repeating?
I think part of repeating yourself is that you want others to absorb what you are saying. We see this play out in parenting. As a parent with younger kids, you find yourself saying some of the same words and concepts over and over again because you want your children to learn. For example, you may say “NO!” 100 times a day so your toddler understands that they shouldn’t do something. Or you may repeat the word “Daddy” 100 times a day to your newborn baby. You know that repeating the word will eventually result in your baby understanding the meaning, repeating it, and ultimately identifying you as their Daddy!
When we repeat something, is shows that it is important.
As I have been pastoring Redemption Church I have found myself repeating certain truths and sayings as well. For example, our mission is to pursue and proclaim Jesus. We say this a lot at our church :) And you know what? It is no bother for me to repeat it! Why? Because it is important to me as the leader to know that people understand it. I want us to stay focused as a community, I want to be unified in what we are doing as we gather together, and I want ever one to know our purpose as a church. So we repeat this short saying over and over again.
Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
What are you repeating?
You may want to pay attention to the words and sayings you are repeating because Jesus told us that out of our heart, our mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Our words can give us insight into what we really value and what we believe. Are your words wholesome, pure, and lovely? Are there common themes that you talk about? Are the words you are repeating biblical and full of grace?
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. -Eph 4:29
Repeat words of life!
I want to encourage you to repeat yourself. Proverbs 18:21 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” It is good to pray for people over and over again and you aren’t wasting your breath. It is good to memorize certain scriptures that minister to you, even if it takes saying it over and over again. It is good preaching the gospel of Jesus over and over again to a world that needs it so desperately. It is good to repeat ourselves over and over again with the things we value —things that bring us life from God’s Word.
Don't feel bad for repeating yourself!
Just make sure that whatever you are repeating is bringing others value and is full of grace and truth. This is why I make it my goal to repeat myself as a preacher and continually point people to Jesus. There is nothing greater than pointing others to Jesus, and I have no problem repeating myself and repeating His gospel that gives life! My prayer is that, as a church family, we beat the same drum of JESUS and His gospel. I pray that we would never get tired of repeating ourselves in this way. I pray that Jesus is always on our lips, and that He is always the person we preach because we VALUE Him. Because what we we repeat is what we want our listeners to learn. So may we lift up the name of Jesus over and over and over again…it is no bother!