“Unless the Church changes its form and gets back to community and the sharing of lives personally, the Church is done.” (Francis Schaeffer)
When Paul penned his letter to the Philippians, he wrote to a church that was experiencing some disunity and relationship issues.
To address the problem, he appealed to their experience of Christ and called them to live humbly before others – to regard others as being better than themselves. (See Phil. 2:1-4).
At its core, the appeal was for them to love each other with the “same love” they had experienced from the Lord Jesus.
This kind of love for one another:
- Frees others (v2) Love for others which is motivated by the love of Christ does not label those who think differently to you, reject or despise them. Instead, it frees them to become the person God created them to be.
- Honours others (v3) When Paul wrote that they were to do nothing from “selfish ambition” he was confronting the kind of attitude that seeks to develop its own following or faction. Because people are free to think differently on certain issues, it does not automatically follow that they now have a right to push their own agenda. The antidote to pushing your agenda? Humility!
- Considers others (v4) Instead of making assumptions about others or passing judgement quickly based on what they have said or how they have behaved, love considers the other person and their needs. Love has the courage to ask the question, “Why do they think or act in that way?”
When Francis Schaeffer gave his warning about the Church above, he was appealing to churches everywhere to be “communities of beauty and truth.”
Places where the Word of God was honoured (truth) but also places where people were deeply and genuinely loved (beauty).
Because our world is watching and they want to see that we do we treat people differently.
“Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” (Apostle Paul, Phil. 2:2)
Blessings to you!
Pastor Rob Furlong.