“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”—Philippians 2:1–2 (NKJV)
If the heart of these two verses could be summarized into just a few words, it would have to be: humility unites, pride divides. In these verses, Paul essentially tells the Philippians that if they have received anything from being Christ-followers, if there has been any life change and transformation in them, then it should be demonstrated through their unity. And true unity, the kind Paul is referring to here—one love, one accord, one mind—leaves no room for pride, because pride doesn’t bring people together . . . it tears them apart.
Humility builds bridges and connects people; it creates and maintains relationships and it unites people. But pride burns bridges; it sabotages relationships and it divides people. So Paul, who as we remember was in chains, told this group of people whom he loved very much to be united—to not put themselves or their needs above the needs of others, to strive towards the same goals, to help each other out, being real and genuine brothers and sisters. They were to watch out for each other and love each other; to live in harmony.
You see, in order to have unity and harmony in the church, we as the body of Christ, as the Church, need to understand that it’s all about Jesus. When Paul talked about one accord, unity, one heart . . . this is what he was saying! It’s all about Jesus. It’s all about pointing people to Him. It’s all about His love. It’s not about us. One of the problems in the modern church is that we believe the church is here for us. This is incorrect! We are the church, and we are here for Jesus and for others.
In Romans 12, Paul compares the Church to a human body. And like the body, the Church operates at its highest capacity when each member or part of the body is properly fulfilling its role. When a part of the body is unable to perform its role, other parts have to work to compensate, which puts a strain on the body. The same can be said of us. But when each person humbly operates in their gifts, serving and loving with the same heart and the same mind of Christ, that’s when the Church works best!
The lesson here for us is that we need to have a spirit of unity with one another, because we’re called to glorify God, follow Jesus, and serve others. If Christ’s love and the power of His Spirit in us has truly changed and produced fruit in our lives, then our relationship with one another should reflect this!
1. Humility unites, pride divides. When have you experienced this and how did it affect you?
2. What specific things can you do in your own church to create an atmosphere of unity?