When was the last time you had a squabble or experienced conflict with a family member or friend? What was at the center of your disagreement? How long did it take you to resolve the conflict? How was your joy affected by the conflict?
If you’re like me, conflict between you and the people you love strips you of the full measure of Christian joy.
One of the purposes Paul had in writing his epistle to the Philippians was to help them experience a full measure of joy—realized by reducing the friction in their relationships. He knew there was only one way this could happen. They would need to show one another the deep love that God had shown them (2:2). This love was unconditional and nondiscriminating. It was a love for one another that should be growing, not eroding.
Next, they could reduce conflict by working together with one mind and purpose (v.2). This did not mean that they had to think and act alike. It meant they should be striving passionately for the same goal—the glory of God and His kingdom. Also, they could reduce conflict by having the right motivation for serving others and by celebrating the good qualities, progress, success, and spiritual growth in the lives of fellow believers (v.3). Paul charged them to extend their concern beyond themselves and to relinquish their fascination with personalities, especially their own (v.4). His motivation for these strong commands was the most powerful example of unity and humility ever known—Jesus Christ (vv.5-11).
As we interact with family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors, we will experience conflict. But we can experience the full measure of joy as we continue to be motivated by the example of our Savior. Let’s reduce conflict by living out unity and humility.
How does Christ’s example of humility challenge your natural self-centeredness?
Based on the principles found in Philippians, how will you change your way of resolving conflicts?
Taken from “Our Daily Journey”