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Philippians 1:22

ESV If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.
NIV If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
NASB But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
CSB Now if I live on in the flesh, this means fruitful work for me; and I don't know which one I should choose.
NLT But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better.
KJV But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

What does Philippians 1:22 mean?

Paul confidently states that any time he had left on earth would result in positive work for God. He did not see the remainder of his life as wasted time, even if he was to spend it in imprisonment. Instead, every moment of every day is to be considered "fruitful labor," or positive work that can be done for the Lord. Our choices in this life do matter, and Paul was well aware of how precious our given time is. This is one of the reasons Paul often refers to his years of rejecting Christ, before his conversion (1 Corinthians 15:9).

For as much as Paul wanted to serve God, the different outcomes before him create a dilemma. Naturally, he desired to be with Christ immediately. In some ways, death is preferable to life for the believer because it means living forever in the presence of the Lord. However, God also has plans for our life during the days we live. We are called to live every moment for His glory, allowing the Lord to define when we end our life on earth and begin our new life in heaven.
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