Some things are better left unsaid. Recently I overheard someone say, “I don’t mean to be critical, but…”. Then they proceeded to deliver an unbridled critique of another lady’s parenting decision. Sprinkled throughout the conversation were other phrases that foretold impending insult:
“I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but…”
“I don’t mean to sound judgmental, but…”
“I hope you don’t think I’m rude, but…”
“If I’ve offended you, I’m sorry, but…”
There is a reason we are to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:15
There is a reason to present ourselves as a living sacrifice, and to be renewed in the spirit our minds. There is a reason we are to keep a short leash on our sensitivity and emotions. There is a reason we are to walk carefully with the Lord’s Word as the lamp unto our feet. The world is full of darkness. Vigilance is vital. We need to be different from the rest of the world. Even though there are wolves among us, and tares growing within the fields we tend, we need to heed Paul’s charge to the Philippians:
“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. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 2:1-5
Paul exhorts us to have “this mind” which is ours in Christ. It’s already ours; we just need to let it shine for His glory. We may think we know best for another (in fact we may even be right), but it doesn’t mean we ought to share our thoughts and hurt another brother or sister in Christ. Paul instructs us to keep our motives pure–to be humble and value others above ourselves–to be considerate of the interests of others, rather than our own.
If we have any “encouragement” from our in union with Jesus, “any comfort”…”any common sharing”…”any tenderness and compassion,” it is our blessing to share with others. It’s our joy. I want to encourage you today, if you have this mind in Christ, don’t keep it to yourself.
PRAYER: Lord, fill us with Your mind, Your compassion, Your love, Your purity, and understanding. Let us look beyond ourselves, and pour out Your goodness to those who need Your love and saving grace. Let us join our hearts in prayer for those who do not know You, for those who do not even realize the void in their lives is their need for Your filling.