Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4)
The Joy Of Being Like-Minded
It’s not about me. The hardest part in relationships is to remember that it is not always about what I want but what is important for the other person. Marriage is not a one way road. It takes two people caring for the other person to make a marriage to find fulfillment. If jealousy sparks the heart to my wishes and my demands the other person will suffer. The deepest relationship we have in Christ is when we find a spirit of like-minded concern with my brethren. While the world hawks the wares of selfishness and self-centered arrogance the principles of God establish relationships of a lowly mind.
People of God are to love one another. This love is the same love for each member of the body of Christ. There is a union of spirit because we serve the same God. The mind is one in purpose as we live after the same word. So often the nature of quarrelling and hatred permeates within the fabric of the church causing division and discord. Brethren will strive with one another over trivial things holding grudges for years. Bitterness roots itself in hurt feelings. Anger lies just below the level of civility creating an undercurrent or resentment. God does not want His children to behave in such a manner. The joy of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ is for the people of God to have a like-mind and learn to love one another.
The first thing that must be done is for self to be removed. Jesus died for our sins – not just my sins. God loved the world – not just me. When I seek to have my way because of my own selfish desires or party spirit I deny the purpose of God sending His Son. Paul exhorts the brethren at Philippi that nothing should be done through selfish ambition or conceit. Nothing means nothing. Not one thing. Nada. Everything I do is about my brother. Showing a mind of humility I esteem others better than myself. That is strong language for some to accept. Reading the text again and again will not change the force of the argument. Nothing is to be done for my own self-seeking gratification. Removing my will to the will of the Lord demands a humble heart. I cannot lift up my brother until I bow myself lower than him. That is what Jesus did.
Every individual has a need to care for his own good but we must never lose sight of the needs of others. Helping one another, praying for one another, exhorting one another comes from the language of one another. Marriage is about ‘our’ relationship and in the marriage of spiritual relationships in Christ it is about looking after the needs of others. Jesus taught His disciples that to be great one had to learn to be a servant. When we learn the principles of servanthood we learn how to serve others. It is not easy to serve. Hard work is involved. Patience. Love. Can I do less than what Jesus did for me? He left glory to die a servant on the cross. From His example I learn how to find the comfort of love in the body of Christ and the fellowship of the Spirit. Seek opportunities to serve others. That is the joy of being like-minded.
You must act in your friend’s interest whether it pleases him or not; the object of love is to serve, not to win. (Woodrow Wilson, Address, Princeton, May 9, 1907)