2 complete my joy by being 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 count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
Unity creates joy in other believers and a lack of unity can stand in the way of complete joy among believers.
If we want to see our congregation truly joyous and celebratory in the Gospel and enjoying Jesus, engaged in Dickinson, using their gifts to serve one another; then we must start with unity in Jesus. Understanding that there is one Spirit and that we, therefore should have one mind is essential before a fire begins within us. And if no fire exists, then no fire can spread.
Some items stand in the way of unity.
Selfish ambition, Conceit, Pride, Looking at yourself or your input as more significant than that of others, Putting your interests above another or simply disregarding or not thinking of the others interest.
When we forget who we are, what we deserve, the imago dei within others…we make ourselves god. And when we’re acting in self service rather than service to our King alone, then any picture of unity we have is fake and will come into light at some point.
Humility is essential if unity is to be found.
Look back at the specific items Paul lists that get in the way of Unity. Do you notice anything similar about them? In each one of these items you’re making yourself more important than others and therefore you’re forgetting the Gospel. You’re forgetting your place and that all others are to be treated with dignity and respect. When we put “self” above everything else…then we’re saying the others around us aren’t significant, and more importantly, we’re telling God that we are god. Bad idea.
The ability to experience “one mind” is made possible in Christ.
The very fact that Paul is asking this of the Philippian church means it’s possible. There is hope for unity even in the most depraved situations. And we must consider the pursuit of unity as ongoing and always at the forefront of our lives together.
The beauty of the Gospel and the hope and “one mind” that we can have in the power of the Spirit through the sacrifice of Jesus is extremely comforting during times of disagreement and quarreling. We have to remember that everyone and every church struggles with letting selfishness and self-worship get in the way of unity. We also have to remember that we are called multiple times throughout Scripture to a spirit of unity. Because of this our pursuit for unity and reconciliation must be relentless and unending. Finally, we have to remember who we are in Christ and the everything we have in common. The Gospel unites, and we separate.