My Life Verses: Philippians 2:1-4

Day 16: “Therefore 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, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phil 2:1-4)

This is not a set of verses which I have memorized but it does play an important role in my life because it was the scripture reference for the first devotional I ever wrote on my own.  As a camp counselors at His Hill Ranch Camp we were encouraged to use our own material for the cabin devotions.  I can remember sitting on a rock on a dry, dusty hillside with my Bible, my pen and my Lisa Frank notebook and feeling overwhelmed with the task.

Yet, this is exactly when God showed up!  I’m not sure exactly why I chose this particular passage except that I may have just turned to Philippians and started reading there because it had already become one of my favorite books of the Bible.  Whatever the reason, I do remember stopping at this passage because of the idea about being like-minded and being one in spirit.  The “If…then” statements really resonated with me.  I wanted to know how to live out the “then” part of this passage: how to be like-minded and unified, to love others and think of them before yourself, etc.

I had also seen enough bickering among the girls in my cabin so far to know they could benefit from digging into this passage as well.  And yet, I realized I could never lead them in these truths unless I first was able to grasp them myself.  And I remember thinking do I have any of the “If” statements in my own life?  For example, am I encouraged that I have unity with Christ?  Do I take comfort from Christ’s love?  Is there a sharing of the Spirit in my life? Do I have much tenderness and compassion in my life?  All very probing and deep questions to think about.

However, I think the section that stands out to me the most now is “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.”  Not that I feel I have necessarily mastered the previous things I had mentioned before.  It is just that these are the issues that I struggle with more at this season in my life.  I need more of a reminder to look out for others interests rather than my own I think right now.  And this is not always an easy thing to do.

Therefore 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, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phil 2:1-4)

Love to Hear Your Thoughts!