I’m tempted to leave these verses alone as the entry today. I could make the claim that they stand alone just fine. I could make the claim that they are among the finest verses in the whole of scripture. I don’t think I would be wrong.
Maybe it’s just because I don’t want to have to deal with how these words impact me. Unity? Have the same mind, the same love? Hey Paul, haven’t you seen the world? Didn’t you live in it? Have you seen how even those who claim to be part of the big C Church have wildly disparate views. Hostile even. It was surely like that in your own day as well. It surely is in mine.
I want to look to the interests of others, I do. What happens when I’m looking to the interests of others and no one seems to look to mine? What happens when if I don’t reach out then that’s the end of the communication?
Am I the only one that feels like that?
Ha! And please don’t get me wrong. I am fully aware that I share the burden of brokenness. Of disunity. I am fully aware that there must be plenty of things that radiate from me that I am not fully aware of. Things buried deep that seep up. Things that are subconscious, automatic, embedded. Things of which I am unaware that I even need to be aware.
And that initial offense, or misunderstanding, or assumption can so easily harden. And so often does. And then where is the unity? We create denominations. Of ourselves. Of our Body. Factions. Fractions.
So what are you saying Paul? That I should consider the Christ. He emptied himself. Kenosis. Humbled himself. Even to death. To humiliation. He had no selfish ambition or vain conceit. He looked to the interest of others. Not so that he could be elevated, exalted. That would be counterproductive, right? But that is the very reflection of our Maker. The self giving, self emptying Creator.
So, let me be aware of my isolation. Let me be considerate of others. And when I think I am being considerate of others, when I think I am regarding them better than as myself… then let me do so even more. Let me be emptied. Emptied of all selfishness. Of all vanity. Of all conceit. Let me share in the Spirit. Of compassion. Sympathy. Encouragement. Love. Humility. The Spirit of the Christ. The Christ makes it so. Not me. Welp… that sentiment seems to be a pretty first step to ponder and attempt to live out today… and for the rest of my life. The Christ makes it so. Not me. Consolation. Complete joy.
Let our minds be the same brothers and sisters. Lord let it be.
2 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, 2 make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was[a] in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.