Humility and Unity
Philippians 21-4 is the ultimate thesis on humility and unity in Christ; it’s a treatise on the good life — the Christian Lifestyle.
Paul suggests we “Consider Christ as [our] model” and teaches that “Christ relates to us with encouragement…showing us compassion and forgiveness (vs. 1).”
Jesus was the ultimate Humble Bundle–both savior and humility advocate. Putting off his own needs and expressing his love for mankind by going lower and lower unto death, Jesus showed us the way to live a strong life of peace and unity.
Lately our days have been filled with the most political upheaval our country has seen in years. With those protesting Trump’s win and mourning Clinton’s loss of the election, there is a disunity among our fellow citizens. Politics and elections are important, but they are not worth the disunity we see around our country.
As believers, we must consider Jesus as our model for living a whole life. Jesus encouraged those around him. Jesus showed compassion and forgiveness for those who had different opinions than him. He was vehemently against the religious right of his day–those who put tremendous burdens of dogmatic rules and regulations on people as a way of getting near to God. But where he fought against religious idiots, he still loved them.
Let’s make Christ our model. Let’s look at everyone as who they are–our neighbors. Mark 12:31 teaches us to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Who exactly is your neighbor? It’s everyone you come into contact with. Are you a Clinton supporter? Your neighbor voted for Trump. You support them. You love them. You allow Jesus to be your model, and you put yourself last by loving them even though you have different political views. You seek to understand, and you love despite your differences of opinion.
Unity and Grace
Paul continues, “Relate to each other as Christ relates to you…express the love for each other that Christ expresses to you (vs. 2).”
You can heal the sick and raise the dead, but if you don’t have love for humanity, your works are worthless. No one cares how miraculous your lifestyle is unless you have fervent love for everyone…not just those in your little circle.
Jesus died for you while you were still a sinner (Romans 5:8). He had the most compassion on you when you didn’t deserve compassion. He loved you despite your having differing viewpoints on how life should be lived. He picked you up from the mire and set you up on a solid surface, himself!, and by his life and sacrifice made you holy and pure. Relate to others in this same fashion.
Mother Church should be the most unified and grace-filled group of people on the planet. Not because we belong to some morality bless-me club, but because we are in love with the same man, Christ Jesus, the bridegroom! At the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing with us: Like the song goes, It’s all about a wedding to come! It’s all about a God who’s a lover!
Is your neighbor a Clinton supporter who advocates for gay marriage, civil rights, and is pro-choice? Great! Stop the condemnation and love them! Show the love and life of Jesus, your lover, and give them a hug, bake them a pie, help pay their utility bill! Smile at them, be kind, BE A FORCE OF GOODNESS in their lives! And don’t be preachy. In fact, don’t preach at all. Just be love.
Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. All by himself. God doesn’t need your help. But he’ll use you if you just settle back and rest in him.
Grace and Peace
This isn’t about Donald Trump being right and Hillary Clinton being wrong. This isn’t about Hillary Clinton being right and Donald Trump being wrong. They both have valid points about why their politics are correct.
This is about being Song People who are absolutely in love with Jesus and allowing that love to spill over into our world.
This isn’t about pro-life vs. pro-choice, right and wrong, moral and immoral. This is about love and allowing love to conquer all sorts of sins. You may be pro-life, but your hatred for those who voted for pro-choice politics is still sin! You may be anti-immigration, but defacing a pro-immigration person’s mailbox is still sin. Being rude and disrespectful to people is sin. Remember: if you hate your brother, the Bible says something about that. “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen (ESV 1 John 4:20).”
Who is your brother?
Well, it’s humanity. Christ died for the sins of the world. He died over 2,000 years ago. He died while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). He saved the world from sin before we were born. Our sins were forgiven, our debt reconciled, before we took our first steps or could slurp milk through a straw. This gives a whole new meaning to the word brother, doesn’t it? We don’t have an issue of saved/not saved. We have an issue of believer/un-believer. Jesus saved everyone from death– I’m not taking away Hell or saying all roads lead to Heaven. See this post for clarity.
There’s a better way to live, and it’s the way of love and compassion.
“Have an accurate estimate of yourself and of others,” writes Paul in verse 3. “focus on [other’s] strengths and on your weaknesses. Be concerned about your brothers’ and sisters’ fulfillment as well as your own.”
Let’s try something new for a change. Let’s put others first. Let’s take the log out of our own eye before we take the speck out of someone else’s. Let’s do something spectacular and concern ourselves with our neighbor’s well-being even when it makes us uncomfortable. If we do that, I bet God will have a field day with the harvest that comes from it.