“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.”
Humble service paves the way for Jesus to be made known.
I’ve been amazed at the variety of responses to the global pandemic of the Coronavirus. Everything from complete panic to total passivity. From hoarding to neighborly generosity. From fear to faith. From greed to selfless service. In fact, if I was really honest, I’ve actually felt almost all of these own responses in my own heart! But that doesn’t have to be our reality, and that certainly doesn’t have to be how we live.
Paul begins chapter 2 with some encouragement to the church by affirming them in what they already have through Jesus (encouragement, comfort, participation in the Spirit, etc). In light of their possession of these great gifts, he then calls them to unity (same mind, same love). In fact, he says that their experience of unity would “make his joy complete.” Then we get the hard part... “in humility, count others more significant than yourselves.”
I don’t know about you, but humility has always been a struggle for me. I seem to struggle thinking that others are more significant! I tend to get pretty caught up on my own interests! However, one of the great gifts that has been made visible in the midst of this crazy pandemic is that we are seeing the truth of this verse demonstrated over and over again. Tell me, what do you feel when you read a news article about someone helping meet a need in this time? What do you experience when you hear a story about someone sacrificing for another person‘s needs? One of the things I feel is joy. When we see someone put themselves second, it lights something up in us. As we will see in the next few verses, that’s because what we are actually seeing is Jesus. And whenever we encounter Jesus, we can be sure that joy is somewhere nearby.
What is one way you can tangibly serve someone in the next few days?