Monday, October 15, 2012

We Are Family

Rom 12:16  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

The Apostle would have us believer brethren to be on the same page in our thoughts and desires for one another. As we grow in the Lord, we should begin to think alike about the same things.

Church father Chrysostom notes of this phrase, “Be of the same mind one toward another” that we are to "enter into each others circumstances, in order to see how you would yourself feel." Stuart interprets that we must "be agreed in your opinions and views." Another says that we are to be united or agreed with each other.

This seems to be in contrast to today's notion that all opinions are of equal value. I personally don't see how one person's proper thinking should be considered equal to another's fallacy.

The Word is truth! Once it is determined what the Word says, this should be the last and ultimate opinion, fact and application.

In the context of a church body, we need to determine the truth about any issue and stand firm on our conclusion.

Next, we see the instruction to "mind not high things but condescend to men of low estate."

This means that no Christian should exercise themselves to seek worldly honor and position but we are to want and work for the same things for our brothers that we have for ourselves. We are to desire that none of us suffer want and none of us practice waste.

Again this goes against the modern grain which teaches us to strive to be best while leaving others in our dust. If we do well, wonderful, but we should desire others of our number do equally well.

Look, we in the local body are family. Considering our own families, who would want their own children to not fare well, or their siblings to not be as prosperous as we are? The well-being of the body of Christ should be of no less interest to us than our physical family.

Practically, we should pray for one another, encourage one another, be willing to share in our success, wisdom, and resources with hard-working and deserving brethren. Granted, if one tends to be a ne'er-do-well, they must learn to work with their own hands before receiving aid. Paul is not advocating a Christian entitlement society within the church, propping up those who expect everyone to make a way for them.

Conversely, we must take caution to "be not wise in our own conceits." That is, to think we are the only ones doing God's will.

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