Read: “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 (NIV)
Reflect: In this scripture, Paul is giving the Philippians a pep-talk. He appreciates them and is encouraging them to continue a course united with Christ in their hearts and actions – value others, looking out for their interests as well as their own. In this scripture, I believe the key words to be: “united,” “love,” “spirit,” and “compassion.” The line that hits home for me is: “in humility value others above yourself.”
To share in the true joy of being united with Christ, it was necessary for me to overcome characteristics that were the opposite of united, love, spirit, and compassion. Additionally, I would have to learn and conduct myself with true humility and value another person putting them first. This would take years for me to learn.
I’m no different than any other guy: we all want to be successful. And like Frank Sinatra sings, we want to do it our way. Therein lies the problem. Most of us endeavor, far too long, to try and live life our own way, without being united with Jesus Christ. We live without the comfort of his love, and without sharing in his spirit. Fortunately, no matter our mis-steps, God doesn’t give up on us. He led me through many experiences that could have damaged or destroyed my life. Praise be to Jesus, for my life changed when I found him and learned the joy and peace when I do things “his way.” God’s path to success has been amazing. I could not have done it without him and those characteristics and humility that eluded me on my own, were attainable with him leading my way.
React: Don’t be like Frank. Learn from Paul’s encouraging pep-talk, become united with Christ and feel lifesaving joy.
Pray: Lord Jesus, I pray for every young person to receive encouragement that leads them to find and follow you.