“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”For all the good things the church of Philippi had going for it, you’d think things were looking rosy. But, they did have some serious disunity, which is why Paul had to remind them to be “like minded,” and to be “of one accord.” Therefore, it was a church in danger. Disunity is always a danger to a church.
William Barclay observed: “The one danger that threatens the Philippian church was that of disunity. There is a sense in which that is the danger of every healthy church. It is when people are really in earnest, when their beliefs really matter to them, that they are apt to get up against each other. The greater their enthusiasm, the greater the danger that they may collide.”
Barclay is right! Quite frankly, nothing gets us so riled up, nothing gets our passions aroused more, than to have someone challenge us over a power or control issue, even over some of the silliest preferences. We can all say, “Been there, done that!” We all can use this admonition to unity.
Now, Paul isn’t asking us to be carbon copies of one another. We aren’t all cut out with the same cookie cutter. This is talking about unity, not uniformity. Uniformity is forced compliance, by rules and regulations, by peer pressure, or even at gunpoint. It comes from the word, uniform, where we dress alike, talk alike, act alike, and think alike. That’s not what Paul is demanding that we be. I don’t even think that’s healthy.
It’s not uniformity we’re looking for, but unity. Unity comes from deep within us. It is our inner desire to live our life in a cooperative manner - to participate on the same team, working toward the same objectives. But we’re not working on my objectives or your objectives, we want to cooperate with Christ. We want to be on His team and accomplish His objectives. That should be our goal.
“Being like minded” means to think the same thing, not about everything, but about Christ, about His truth, and about His will. It is striving together to achieve a common understanding and a genuine agreement. It is working together to find God’s truth, and to find God’s will. And then we all do it together.
God doesn’t have a divided will, does He? So if we can’t agree on a course, one of us, if not both of us, has missed finding God’s will. At least one of us is wrong and pushing the wrong agenda. The answer is to keep looking till we both come to it. Keep praying together until God brings you into sweet unity.