Romans 16:12 (NKJV)
“Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord.”
Tryphena and Tryphosa must be celebrated because they labored in the Lord. They were hard workers and made sacrifice for the sake of the ministry. But in this same verse, Paul introduced a strange person called Persis. Again, this individual is totally unknown to us yet he or she is described as having labored “much” in the Lord. There is a difference between “laboring in the Lord” and “laboring much in the Lord,” and Paul wanted to make it clear that Persis was in a separate category in terms of effort and level of ministry engagement.
Service should never be done according to our feelings, comforts or dispositions. All Christ-centered labors are blessed, but we can choose to go the extra mile to labor harder and more diligently than others. Persis gave us an example of what it means to serve wholeheartedly, with much sacrifice, beyond expectation and with great personal effort. It’s not a competition and I don’t believe Persis was competing with Tryphena and Tryphosa. I believe he was just giving God his everything, which included, his every strength and resource. Serving God requires great labor and depending on where you are in your journey with God, that may determine the level of sacrifice and giving we are ready to make for the kingdom. May we so give incredibly and lavishly to the King who owns everything.
“Lord, You deserve my everything. May I serve You lavishly, extremely and wholeheartedly – because You deserve it all. In Your name I pray. Amen.”