The book of Philippians speaks so strongly on one of the top 5 things that I struggle with in my efforts to be God’s woman. Unity. As a teenager I used to think that whomever I married when I grew up was in for a life of misery. We would never get along. My siblings and I certainly never seemed to. If I couldn’t get along with my brothers and sister, how was I ever going to have the proper relationship with the guy who would become my roommate and closest companion? Even best friends have issues when they’ve spent one too many nights sleeping over at each others’ houses.
Thankfully, my relationships with my siblings have vastly improved as we’ve grown older, and my fears for my marriage… they’ve proved useful. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I have knock-down, drag-outs with my husband or anything. But the fear of the possibility of any disunity motivated me to get a few things straight before I entered that covenant relationship. I encourage every girl to pass up the heartache of learning these things the hard way. If you want your relationship with your mate, your siblings, with friends, and even with strangers to be uplifting, spiritual healthy and not full of worldly discord, know that it’s up to you to make it happen! The apostle Paul wrote a letter to two women in the church who were having some serious issues acting like the sisters-in-Christ that they were. Compare these with your own attitude toward others: how unified are you?
#1 – Imitate Me (Paul). Consider others as more important than yourselves. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain…yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.” (1:21, 24) Paul wanted to go to heaven, but for their sake, he lived the life that he did. For whom do you live, and why?
#2 – Imitate Christ. Remember that “although He existed in the form of God,” (2:6) He didn’t selfishly treat that glory like something to clutch to His chest, grasping, never letting go of it. He emptied Himself, becoming a man and dying the most undignified, horrible death for us. What do you have a hard time letting go of because of pride – and does it compare with Christ’s sacrifice of heaven when He came to Earth?
#3 – Imitate Timothy. Be genuinely concerned for the welfare of others.
#4 – Imitate Epaphroditus. “He came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me” (2:30). Do you serve others to such a degree? Is it important enough to you to minister to another’s need at any cost?
The two women in Philippi needed a reality check: What was more important? Their egos, or the cause of Christ? If you are concerned about your relationships, take Paul’s Reality Check quiz, and find out how you can more closely align your attitude with these four unequaled examples. Fear is a good motivator, and knowledge with determination is the key to successfully overcoming those fears. Let’s go girls.
May God bless your relationships. Amen.