Philippians 2:1-3 (NIV)
1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves
It’s no secret to my family or friends that I love watching team sports – soccer, basketball, football – you name it. I enjoy seeing athletes compete at the highest level doing things I could never even dream of. I love the drama of not knowing what’s going to happen, but I’ve found that most of all, I love seeing teams work together for a common goal. Over time, I’ve realized that as much as I love stars like Tom Brady or David Ortiz, the player that I love the most is Troy Brown, formerly of the New England Patriots. He was willing to sacrifice his own personal goals or records to do whatever the team needed – playing special teams, blocking, even playing defense even though he was a starter on offense. From a sports perspective, he epitomized Philippians 2:3 - “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
In Philippians 2, Paul reminds the Philippians (and us) of the sampling of blessings that they have been provided – encouragement from being united with Christ, comfort from his love, generosity in the spirit, tenderness and compassion – and how we should respond as a result – through unity and humility. Unity towards a common goal in this case isn’t a Super Bowl, World Series or World Cup, but glorifying God through our love and like-mindedness towards each other.
As C.S. Lewis wrote: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less.”
Lord, I thank you for the encouragement, love, tenderness and compassion that you have shown me again and again through your Spirit and the people that you have brought into my life. I pray that we’ll be unified in our love for you and each other and we’ll encourage and lift each other up.
By: Brad Warsen