Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.
As a member of the body of Christ, you soon discover that being of one mind is not the same as agreeing on everything in life. It does mean you will agree on the important core issues of faith in Jesus Christ, and, although you have different perspectives, you will work for unity when decisions are made. If we all had the same approach—the same perspective—the same idea, we could not envision God’s whole picture. Paul compared each member of the body of believers to each member of the physical body. The hand can’t do much without the eye to guide it. The idea in a head can’t be expressed without the tongue to speak it. We, also, as members of the body of Christ, discover we need each other to become the whole that God had in mind when we were created.
For this to happen, we need to keep a humble attitude. Sympathize with each over, and love each other as brothers and sisters. Without tender-hearted love, your way to do something consumes you, and pride, which believes your way is the only way, grows without limit. “Don’t be selfish,” Paul wrote. “Don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Jesus Christ had” (Philippians 2:3-5, NLT). Do we get that? Are we willing to lay down everything for someone else?
It’s the idea that “my way is best” which nurtures a critical spirit. We all fight a critical spirit at times. Some of us fight it easier and less often than others. But it is something we all must place on His altar. Jesus had everything to prove. He had the way, and He had the answer. But the way He proved it was by laying down His life. He washed feet that didn’t deserve it. He loved without receiving in return. He gave without hesitation.
But, what if your way is best? And it is not realized? No issue in the body of Christ is larger than the love which died for it. No issue. When you continually lay down your way—just as Jesus laid down His life—that is the moment you begin to exercise His gift of freedom. That is the moment that His love sets you free.
© 2018 Lynn Lacher