The Joy of Humility

“Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:2). 
     
Yesterday we looked at some “if” statements from Paul. Today’s verse has a “then” implied at the beginning followed by a command. Statements like this can appear somewhat mild in English, yet in the original language, they demand the attention of the listeners. The phrase “complete my joy” is an imperative – a paraphrase might be “you must complete my joy.”  This command concerning joy certainly fits the joyful theme of the letter, but it also gives us some insight into Paul’s psyche. He has joy in Christ, but he wants more. And one way he knows he can get more is to introduce this joy to as many other people as possible.
     
Imagine finding something amazing such as a waterfall, a panoramic mountain view, or an awe-inspiring painting. When you find joy in things like these, you want to share it!  And when I discover something new (to me) or amazing about Christ or God’s Word, I want to share that treasure with others too. Then when someone else finds joy in what I’ve found, my joy is multiplied!

Paul wants his theme verse about joy in Christ -- “to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21) -- to spread to as many people as possible. The way Paul’s joy in Christ multiplied was for other Christians to rejoice and live like Christ. Have we filled our lives with this joy of Christ? Do we know the only ultimate joy is in Christ and that if we live out such joy, it multiplies the joy of those who first shared it with us?

Next our letter-writer explains exactly how the believers in Philippi can complete his joy:

  • They can think the same way—having a mind that knows the gospel is true -- resulting in joy and humility.
  • They can love the same way -- embracing the love displayed in the gospel and sharing it with others. 
  • They can be of “full accord” – from another Greek word (“sumpsuchois”) presenting the idea of being “co-souled.” Incredibly, when people believe the same gospel their souls somehow become conjoined.

I hope you have true joy today; and if not, I want you to find it in Christ. Friend, Jesus wants so much for you to be joyful that He said these words in John 15:11: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy ma y be full.” May we humbly complete each other’s joy – and watch it grow organically as we rejoice in what Christ has done for us.

By Matthew Rondeau

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