Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:2-3
St. Paul said we were to be of one mind -- easy to say, hard to do.
As an example, I share the story of the mother and father in Rocklin, California, who had a house rule: no Internet use for their teenage daughter after 10 p.m. It was a gesture and restriction which weren't appreciated by the 16-year-old.
Being of a different mind than her parents, and selfishly thinking she knew what was best for her, the daughter decided to circumvent the order. She went out and bought her parents some milkshakes. Then she laced those milkshakes with prescription sleeping pills, which she borrowed from a friend.
The parents thought the drinks tasted funny and only drank about a quarter of the concoction. Even so, that small amount was enough to do the job, and they went down for the night. The next morning mom and dad knew something had happened. They took a drug test, which gave them the answers they needed. When confronted by the evidence, the daughter confessed.
Both the daughter and her 15-year-old friend were arrested.
Whether it be in a family or in a church, it can be hard for people to be of full accord and one mind with each other. We all have a sinful tendency to be conceited, ambitious and arrogant.
This is why Jesus is such an extraordinary example. The Savior left His position in heaven, became a human being, and submitted Himself to the Father's plan, which called for Him to be our substitute and sacrifice. St. Paul describes Jesus selfless act in Philippians 2:8. "And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Look at our Redeemer in the Garden of Gethsemane, and you will see His commitment to winning our salvation, as He prays, "Nevertheless, not My will, but Thy will be done" (see Matthew 26:39).
I wonder how would our homes and churches be changed if we adopted a similar attitude. How would our witness to the Savior be improved if we all did as St. Paul suggested and counted others as being more significant than ourselves.
I don't know the answer to that question, but I do believe it might be worth a try.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, grant a oneness of purpose to Your people. Grant us the grace to put aside our selfish attitudes and work together for the common good. This we ask in the Name of Jesus who sacrificed Himself, so others might be saved. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries