“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 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. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,”
When I was in college, I watched a historical event that was celebrated around the world – the collapse of the Berlin Wall. This concrete wall separated a city and represented two competing ideologies from 1961 to 1989. One side represented oppression and the other freedom. The wall separated families and restricted travel. Those trying to cross would be turned away or gunned down. The wall’s demise ushered in a time of unity among many and became one of the biggest symbols of the collapse of Russia and the end of the Cold War.
Some walls are important, they protect and mark boundaries. But some walls need to come down. Whether we realize it or not, we can be guilty of building walls that separate us from the very people we are commissioned to reach. In Philippians, Paul describes the material that can be used to build unhealthy walls:
- Selfish ambition
- Exclusively pursuing our own interests and
- Grabbing all that we feel we’re entitled to
By building such a wall we can feel smug, safe, and shielded. But by insulating, we can end up isolating – ourselves and others. So let us be encouraged and admonished by the same words that were so powerful spoken in Berlin over 30 years ago, “Tear down that wall!”
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions:
- Has Christ made a difference in your life? What if we could help make a similar difference in someone else’s life by using the same tools that Christ did?
- Look through the passage again and identify the tools that we can use to tear down walls and free us up to Live Loud.
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Jon Price, Associate Pastor