By John Grimm
Philippians 2:1-4 (NRSV)
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
I like to have my own personal time of devotion with God. I need that time to confess sin, hear his forgiveness, and bask in the wonder of God. My life, however, cannot be only about my own personal time of devotion with God. For the same Holy Spirit of Christ that resides in me also resides in each disciple of Jesus Christ.
With Christ being in me and my being in Christ, it is reasonable to be in full accord and of one mind with other disciples of Jesus Christ. This fact assists us in going beyond our own personal agenda, or as Paul writes, we are encouraged to do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit.
Loving others in the body of Christ therefore is not optional nor a strict mandate. Loving others by looking to the interest of others happens because in Christ we do have consolation from love, we share the Spirit, and we do have compassion and sympathy. It is in Christ that we do not struggle against other disciples. It is in Christ that we can will and work for God’s good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Thereby, with the Holy Spirit of Christ in us, we live in humility.
Having our own personal time of devotion with God is necessary for our personal faith in Christ. However, it is when we are with other disciples that our faith and love for Christ is lived. How good it will be for all disciples to regard other disciples as better than ourselves!
God, thank you that all disciples of Jesus Christ share your Holy Spirit. As we spend time with you as individuals and as the body of Christ, we look forward to having love, compassion, and sympathy for one another. Forgive us where we have fallen short of realizing our life together is in Christ. May we have the mind that Christ has. In the name of Jesus, we seek to live. Amen.