Wednesday, March 7, 2012
One In The Spirit And In Purpose
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Holy 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.
Philippians 2:1 (NIV)
Paul writes to the Philippians, he encourages them to look into their hearts and consider their stance with Christ. He points out that they should receive a building up, an empowerment, from being in His presence. The apostle then spells out what he means by the Lord strengthening them.
Did they receive “any comfort from his love”? Do we receive any consolation from His grace? If any of us have gone through the loss of a loved one, we have benefited from that great love He has for us.
For those of us who have dealt with depression, Jesus has stayed by our side and comforted us. Maybe Christ guided us through a deep valley by showing us how He helped in times past. He could have sent someone to us who had experienced similar feelings or circumstances.
What about “fellowship with the Spirit”? Jesus promised us a comforter to help us through this life after He ascended into heaven. By doing this for us, He remains close to us, especially when we face difficulties or even events we don’t understand in our lives.
Were the Philippians filled with “tenderness and compassion”? Do we possess these traits? Do we respond to people who hurt or those in grief as though we are led by the Lord or by the thoughts of society? As I write this, a thought comes to mind. It goes like this, “Always use tender words because sometime (we) might have to eat them.”
The word compassion comes from two Latin words, cum-meaning ‘with’ and pathos-meaning ‘suffering’. Have we needed to ‘suffer with’ a friend recently? When we display compassion, sometimes it’s as simple as listening to another person as they talk. Other times, we sit with them in a hospital. Or we carry in food to their home.