“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being 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 count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Phil. 2:1-4
We all love sharing our lives with one another—our highs and our lows, our joy and our sorrow, our success and our struggle. There are numerous ways that we can share life with one another. Personally, I love gathering with family and friends around the table to enjoy a great feast. My family and friends believe that God has given me gifts in the kitchen as a cook. I’m not so sure about that, but I do love to cook, especially for other people.
For the last 7 years we’ve been living in Texas and I remember how hard it was to be a new family in a new town. For that reason we love to invite “new” people into our home for fellowship. We especially enjoy loving on people who share similar roots. We tell similar stories, cheer for the same sports teams and have much in common. Recently we’ve begun to expand our invite list. We not only invite our friends from the south but our new friends in the west. It seems that no matter who sits around our table, we love being together. Though we may have many differences on the surface, we seem to share a deeper bond at the level of the heart.
We’ve discovered that gender, race, age, education, wealth, etc. really don’t matter at the end of the day. We are learning to love and live in relationship with all kinds of people. Why is this? The answer is quite simple and Paul tells us why in Philippians 2. Paul tells us that our common bond is Christ. Why do we desire to love other people? Because of the encouragement, comfort, love, affection and sympathy that is ours in Christ. Christ loves to love us. He is at work in our hearts helping us to love one another. There is no greater privilege than to give your life away for the glory of God and the good of another.
Who do you enjoy being around? Do you love other people? Do people feel free to share their needs, burdens, concerns, joys and blessings with you? Do you wish your time together with them would never end?