Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Philippians 2:1-2 -- On Following Christ by Expressing Ourselves

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind."
Philippians 2:1-2

The footnote here to "bowels and mercies" tells us that it means tender affection and compassion.  So basically it is saying that Christ offers us consolation, comfort, love, fellowship, affection, and compassion.  And if he does that (which he does), then we can bring joy to him and to each other by doing the same: following in the steps of Christ, and offering that same comfort and compassion to others.

I think sometimes we don't realize the impact that we have on others, and maybe we don't really think about comfort or fellowship or compassion because we are in the middle of "more important" things, like dealing with life and business and school and finances, etc.  We're wrapped up in our own stuff and it is hard to take that extra effort to observe how even the smallest indications of love or approval or friendship can make a difference.  I can't speak for men, but I think it might even be harder for some of them in this regard because our society encourages men to focus on other things and to be "tough," which often means NOT showing these particular Christlike attributes.

The thing is, we all crave affection and approval on some level, no matter how tough.  I'm not saying everyone is needy or histrionic, but we all appreciate people noticing us and appreciating our efforts.  And the tougher we are, maybe the more important the praise or comfort is, because it is less likely that other people know our feelings.  We're taught to treat others as we would like to be treated, and this is a case in point. :)

Today, let's fulfil each other's joy... let's follow the example of Christ by showing love to the people around us.  Let's love and comfort and console, and not just feel, but *demonstrate* our affection and fellowship for others.

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