In the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, he is addressing people he knows and loves. He urges them to “make my joy complete” by being of one accord, living in self- sacrificing love and unity with one another. It reminds me of this verse from Psalm 133:
“Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity!“
If you are part of a church community, you know how true this is, and how disturbing disagreements can be. My devotional reading this morning featured a quote by Andrew Murray (1828-1917), a South African writer and pastor. It speaks to this topic.
“Let our temper be under the rule of the love of Jesus: He can not alone curb it–He can make us gentle and patient. Let the vow, that not an unkind word of others shall ever be heard from our lips, be laid trustingly at His feet. Let the gentleness that refuses to take offense, that is always ready to excuse, to think and hope the best, mark our intercourse with all. Let our life be one of self-sacrifice, always studying the welfare of others, finding our highest joy in blessing others. And let us, in studying the Divine art of doing good, yield ourselves as obedient learners to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By His grace, the most common-place life can be transfigured with the brightness of a heavenly beauty, as the infinite love of the Divine nature shines out of our humanity.”
Let’s all make it our prayer today, that the fruit of the Spirit will be displayed in our lives, and in the life of our Christian communities.
For more on the fruit of the Spirit see these posts: