The Joy of Being Like-Minded
Verses 1b-2 …if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
Yesterday we talked about the encouragement that comes from having unity with each other but ultimately with Christ. While this encouragement is comforting, Paul didn’t stop there.
Paul continues to encourage his friends to be in unity. Not only does he mention encouragement of unity in the truth, he reminds them of their common sharing of the Holy Spirit. They can also enjoy the tenderness and compassion that comes from being a part of the Church that is living in the truth of Christ. But then Paul takes a slight detour to tell them of their responsibility in this kind of Church.
Paul first tells them that they will bring him complete joy if they are like-minded. This may seem like a strange thing for him to say after he has discussed the need for them to be unified but we all know that there can be a quasi-unity where we agree to get along on the surface but there is no true unity because we are not like-minded.
Being like-minded is not a matter of forcing ourselves to a point of deep unity. No, this is deeper than that. Paul continues, adding that part of the formula is having the same love and being of one mind and spirit. This being one in spirit is not the same as being one in THE Spirit. This is Paul saying that the connection of these believers should be a connection that is from being on the same team with the same mission.
When we are in one spirit we will be of the same mind because we are working for the same goal. This goal is the Kingdom of God and will bring us to the place of unity that Jesus prayed we would have (John 17:22-23). If knowing God’s people were like-minded would bring Paul joy, imagine how much more it would bring Christ joy? We need to be seeking Christ on a deeper level, honestly allowing Him to expose things in our lives that need to be dealt with. This cleansing our lives of deliberate sins will help us grow in unity with Christ and become like-minded with other believers who are doing the same.
Making It Personal
How open are you to allowing Christ reveal the sins that are hindering unity with Him and others? Are you like-minded to Christ? What needs to change in your life so that you can have unity with other believers?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to be like-minded? Should you be like-minded to Jesus? How do you learn how to think like Jesus?
Father, thank You for showing us that it brings You joy when we are in unity with You and each other. Show us the things in ourselves that are hindering unity with those we should be united with. In Jesus’ name, amen.