–verb (used without object)
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with 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 purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Um-hmph. Think I’m gonna be chewing on that one for a while. Did you catch that “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”?
After reading over this about a dozen times I started seeing exactly how it is written. I’ve always loved the Lord’s Prayer because I believe it is the example of how we should pray. God gave us a very specific order in which to come to Him with our thanks and our apologies and our requests. It is a model. The book of Philippians was written by the apostle Paul while he was in prison. It is written to the people of Philippi, which was a Roman colony. The Philippians sent Paul a gift in prison and Paul wrote the book as a thank-you letter to them and to report to them his circumstances. He wrote it to them with the intent of giving them a model for living peacefully with each other. With this bit of Biblical history in mind, I read this chapter and gained a little perspective.
I’ve always liked the number 8. It’s fun to draw and I love that it’s the symbol for infinity when turned on it’s side. Here’s an eight-step program for you that should lead to a peaceful household. I’m just starting the program today, so I’ll have to let you know how it goes.
1. If my family is united in our love for Christ, we must be united in our love for each other. Period.
2. Be as humble as Jesus. (this should naturally result in the other steps)
3. Stop acting out of selfish motivation and vain ambition. Be a servant to those around you. (ouch!)
4. It is okay to think about your own interests, but you also must think about the interest of others. (this one shouldn’t be too difficult. everyone in my house is pretty good about voicing their needs and wants.)
5. Don’t complain about what you have to do. (yea. yea. got it,God.)
6. Don’t argue. (bummer. I really like to be right and so often the people around me are wrong)
7. If you do the first six, you will shine like stars amongst a depraved generation. (My kids and hubby would probably tell you I’ve been a big dark cloud lately, so I think I can handle bringing a little sunshine to my world.)
8. Be glad and rejoice. Pretty humbling and convicting seeing that Paul was in prison when writing this and commanding the people to be glad and rejoice “with him”.
I’m a little worried that this program might be a little harder to stick to than a new workout or diet plan. Wish me luck or pray for me. I’ll take either. I’ll probably need both.