by Peter Lane 26 February 2022
In Paul's letter to the Philippians, he writes the following words:
Philippians 2 v1-5
Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another. I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. Don't do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble towards one another, always considering others better than yourselves. And look out for one another's interests, not just for your own. The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had.
What a powerful and encouraging statement to make. Even more so when you consider that at the time of writing this letter Paul was in prison, he was troubled by opposition from other Christian workers towards himself, and he was distressed by false teaching in the church at Philippi.
In our world today it is sometimes difficult to break away from a culture where everything revolves around "me". We read and hear of people who must have the best car, the latest gadgets, and the most expensive clothes. They post photographs of themselves on social media and get hundreds of thousands of followers - people wanting the same things and lifestyle.
It is even more disappointing when this " me" culture moves from worldly goods into personal relationships. We hear of marriages that break down because someone suddenly wants to leave and do something different with their life, without giving any thought to the needs of a partner or their children.
Thankfully we also read and hear about people who tirelessly give their time, gifts and money to help those people who are in need. There are also countless people who willingly show kindness and compassion to those less fortunate than themselves without seeking any reward or publicity for their work.
Our life and our church community should be built around the desire to support and encourage one another, with the love of Jesus at the centre of all we say and do. It is not always easy but I pray that as we live out our lives it is our faith in Jesus that is seen by the people we meet.
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As I live my life, I pray that your love for me is seen in all I say and all I do. Help me to have a listening ear and to show kindness and compassion in all situations. Give me the right words to share with those I meet. May all my actions reflect the love of Jesus.