“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1-2 NIV)
Being like-minded–having the same mindset towards all of God’s children, His attributes, and His way of doing all things–sets true Believers apart from those who simply live under a banner–of denominationalism.
How do we know those who are like-minded Believers? They say what God says, treat people like God tells us to treat people, and promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ rather than a denomination, a pastor or church.
So, how are we to treat people? We treat people with loving-kindness–“by this shall others know who we are, by our love one for the other.” We don’t bash people because they do not believe as we do, we respect their beliefs and keep it moving, without debate.
Just yesterday, I responded with a comment to an article about a school district demanding that a picture of Jesus be taken down from the walls of a school. Of course, with every article posted online and comments are allowed, we are bound to see the worst in some people. My comment was two-fold. One–I saw no need in people getting upset about an image–an artist’s rendition of what Jesus may have looked like and two–those who don’t believe are always talking about how intolerant Believers are, yet they don’t see their own intolerance. Of course my comment drew nasty remarks from “anonymous posters” those who are so ashamed of who they are, they never post a picture of themselves.
My reaction to the nastiness–was simply not to respond for two reasons. My picture is always included in any comment I write on any article because I am not ashamed of who I am or what I believe and I don’t respond to those who are not willing to be known. People are entitled to their beliefs and to disagree with others. That’s not an issue for me, but I refuse to get embroiled with a faceless person, giving them fuel to spout more venom. IF THEY WERE NOT ASHAMED OF THEIR VIEWS, THEY WOULD SHOW THEIR FACES AND NOT MAKE VENOMOUS COMMENTS–ANONYMOUSLY. They don’t deserve a comment from me and I won’t waste my time doing so.
But they are not the like-minded Believers under discussion. They are the unbelieving and since they choose not to believe, I let them. For those who proclaim to believe God, I welcome their comments and do not mind entering into engaging discussion. I have a healthy respect for those who may know more than I know since I don’t know everything, and I encourage all to get into relationship with God.
Then there are those who proclaim to have a relationship with God, but have no clue as who God is, what He says, or how to conduct themselves as ambassadors of Jesus Christ. We cannot be an ambassador for Jesus Christ–representing all He is if we don’t know what He has said or how He expects us to act. To represent someone–we MUST KNOW THEM, INTIMATELY!
Therefore, for all who proclaim to know The Lord Jesus Christ, know how He wants us to live based upon His representation of His Father and how we are to treat others--we are the like-minded Believers–the ones who know how to love, unconditionally, and are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ–proclaiming it wherever we go and in all circumstances, we are mindful of our position in the family–of all of God’s children.
No matter how the world–those walking in unbelief–treat us; we should know how to treat one another, pray for one another, and encourage each other to remain steadfast in the faith of our Risen Savior, promoting the Gospel until He comes to take us Home with Him.