DISCOVERING GOD’S ABUNDANCE IN OUR DIFFERENCES
“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 others.” (Philippians 2:2-4)
One of the powerful things that a PTM mindset gives us is the ability to look at our differences and even our disagreements in a positive light. A scarcity mindset values one opinion above others that’s their own. I remember one time I was having a discussion with one of my children about how there were people who didn’t agree with our opinion about something like praying in school. My daughter said something to the effect, “Dad, why can’t people all just be smart and normal like us.” I laughed real hard, because she said what I have thought so many times.
Paul tells us that having that propensity or mindset of superiority about our views and opinions is actually a form of selfishness and pride that keeps people divided. Paul is addressing a problem in a church between two women, Euodia and Syntyche. I renamed them in my mind, “You are odious and Soon Touchy” because these are qualities we all have sometimes that lead to divisions. He commands them in Philippians 4:2, to be of the same mind in the Lord.
He tells them to be willing to go outside of their own opinion and find common ground in the Lord. If we are willing to have a humble attitude about our opinion we can affirm so often that part of our perspective is right and part of their perspective is probably right and instead of focusing on how we are more right and they are wrong, we could focus on finding a way that we could be right “together” in Jesus. I believe that in so many instances one opinion is never the best opinion. Two or more opinions humbly submitted, with a kind and honoring desire to discuss and identify the best way to think of an issue together brings the greatest wisdom. It is so sad to see politics in our government, homes, and often even in the church where people are trying to get votes and push people with different opinions out because of a scarcity mindset that thinks for me to be right those who think differently from me have to be wrong.
I like how one pastor described his relationship with his wife. He said we have been lovingly incompatible in our views about a number of things all our married life, but the two of us working through to agreement together have proven to be one great parent.