Reading: Philippians 2: 1-5
Verse Two: Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
If you think back to when you were young, perhaps you can think of someone you wanted to be like. Maybe it was one if your parents or maybe it was a grandparent. Maybe it was an older brother or sister. Maybe it was an older student on the team or in the choir or band. Whatever the case, you looked up to that person for the qualities you admired in them. They were qualities you wanted to have or practice as well. As we mature in life, we often have mentors who help us along at work or in our faith or in our marriages… They are usually more experienced and are “successful” and are willing to pour into us to make us ‘better’.
In today’s passage, Paul wants us to recall how Jesus brings us encouragement, comfort, compassion, love, tenderness, and fellowship. He then says, “Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose”. Paul is asking us to look to the ultimate role model and to emulate Jesus. Do to others what Jesus does for us. Jesus set aside selfish ambition and conceit. Paul says for us to do the same. Jesus chose humility – looking at others needs before His own. Paul says for us to do the same. Delve into the Word, understand what Jesus is really all about. Get to know Him so well that you can emulate Him well. But do not do this for just a day or even a week. Keep reading, keep deepening your connection. This is a lifetime project.
If we make Jesus Christ our role model, we still need mentors. The journey of faith is not easy and it does take some experience. It is far better to have wise counsel than it is to stumble along on our own. Each Christian should seek out a wiser, more mature Christian as a mentor. To be able to tap into and to learn from one who has walked where we want to walk is essential to our journey of faith. May we each reflect on our journey to date and seek God’s direction on how and with whom to continue our path to being one in mind and spirit with Christ.