Day 10: We Love to Get

Read: Philippians 1:27-2:5

Over the past two years, I have been a new student at two different colleges. As a transfer student, it’s incredibly humbling to have to start over in a new environment where people don’t have a clue who you are or what you’re able to contribute. Time and again something I’ve been confronted with in my heart are my motives when it comes to making friends. Facing new opportunities and new friendships, I naturally ask myself things like, Do I want connections for my major? What do I need to do to be liked? Do I want to meet a guy, and if so should I invest more time in his circle of friends? It goes on and on. All these questions tend to be wrapped up in the same overarching intention: I want to make relational investments to get something else out of it. Whether it’s connections, affection, or status, the majority of my internal planning for relationships has little to do with seeking the good of others—at the end of the day I tend to look out for number one.   

In our passage today, Paul writes to the Philippians about how they can reflect the humility God had shown to them in Jesus. Paul had just finished explaining how he had lived worthy of the gospel and urged the church in Philippi to do the same. The theme of Philippians 1 is stated plainly in the first verse of our passage, which says, “let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (v. 27). What is the good news of Christ? Namely that Christ has come to bridge the divide between man and God and allow for us to have the kind of life that has no end (John 20:31). From that understanding, what kind of life would reflect this truth? With a broad scope, the answer would be to love others the way God does, from the overflow of God’s love in our lives.

As Christians, we know the purpose of life is to bring glory to God in everything that we do (1 Cor. 10:31), including how we make friends. No part of our lives as Christians, no matter how mundane, is left outside the life of God. As a bearer of God’s image and an ambassador of heaven on earth, it matters what I do and why I do it. 

With this in mind, notice that the second set of verses in chapter 2 repeat a certain concept multiple times. The idea of having one mind (vv. 27, 5, 2). What exactly is this mind that Paul keeps referring to? It’s not as simple as not disagreeing. It has to do with having a unified direction, a collective meaning and drive—namely, sharing the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). Christ lived as an example for His followers to learn from, and in His life we see that He was humble, patient, content, and unified with God the Father—just as we are meant to be.    

Not only are we to let our manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ (v.27), but we are also “in humility to count others more significant than yourselves” (v. 3). As Christians, we are to first strive to bring glory to God, but also dying to ourselves to love others well. This is the call of a Christian, as a present, earthly reflection of Jesus.

When you find yourself in a situation today where you have the chance to choose who you’ll spend time with—whether choosing your lunch table, who you’ll sit next to at class, or debating whether to watch tv or get to know students on your floor, remember that we are to live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Choose to love others rather than worry about your reputation. There are rewards as you grow in Christ-likeness.

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