The verse the Church NEEDS right now.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. – Philippians 2: 1-4
Maybe I should change that to…
The verse I NEED right now
and it starts at home.
It’s easy when children are young. As they get older, learn to talk (back), and start to walk (away), it gets harder to keep putting them above myself. On days I don’t feel quite so good, it’s even more difficult. In reading verse four for the who-knows-how-many thousandth time, I realized the key.
Put the verse back in the Bible and read the whole passage.
In order for me to put others above myself, I need to unite with Christ, find comfort in His love, share with the Spirit, and become complete in joy. THEN I can follow the rest of the verse.
Knowing myself, I often spend so much energy putting others first to the point of this verse becoming a diving board into the pool of guilt if I do something for myself. But that is not what the verse says. The last part is often left off – each of you to the interests of others.
Is this a picture of your family? If you have a teen, probably not. Instead of coming down hard (talking to myself here), give them tools on how to recognize someone else’s interests and how to humbly put others first. Remember, it all starts with verse one.
What about your church? Each of you. That means all of the like-minded Christ followers. Are you looking to the interests of others? I can hear you asking, “Does that mean I need to serve in the church?” Well, since you asked – Bingo!!! Let me just add that if you do find comfort in His love, share with the Spirit, and are complete with joy, how could you NOT serve? Serving will become an outflowing of abundance.
Building Bridges means we all pick up tools to help on each other’s bridges with humbleness and respect.