Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. [NASB1995®]
In these verses, the apostle Paul calls the church to remain in unity (which brings him the greatest joy).
The unity of the church, and here in particular, of the local church is something that we all desire, because the Lord expresses it like this, “that you all be as one.”
How do we accomplish this, if we really desire it?
Avoiding conflict… that is to say, that we should not look to create discord. If we know that we can avoid hurting someone else or creating conflict, we should act accordingly.
Avoiding boastfulness or self-conceit… Our motivation should be glorifying Christ, and building up our fellow Christians, not seeking flattery or praise that only serve to inflate our pride.
Holding others in high esteem… Paul even tells us to think of others as better than ourselves (ufff!), so that we don’t put ourselves in the center of everything.
Meditate: It is not an easy task, rather an impossible one for our fallen mankind, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit in us… Learning to love each person, remembering how much God has forgiven us, and the mercy He has poured out over our lives.
May God bless us and help us to always remember what He is doing in us as His people!
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation by: Emily Stader