We are an Ozzie church but that ozzieness , (for the most part) works in our favour. There are so many great aspects about our ocker culture that lends itself to authentic community. Steve and I were living in Sydney when the Olympic games were held in Sydney. Watching the Ozzie volunteer spirit made our nation proud. They optimised the servant attitude that Paul describes in Chapter 2. There are some great things about being an Ozzie but when it comes to unity, we have no issue desiring unity but fleshing it out in a Christ-like way can be complicated.
I just love that Paul uses my relationship with Jesus to undergird and create the context for me. He reminds me of the incredible resources available to me to help me do some of the hard stuff that chapter two requires.Encouragement, comfort, compassion, tenderness…all things that empower relationship! He doesn’t use himself as the benchmark but takes me back to Christ. When I feel discouraged, this passage about Jesus blows me away!!!
We actually have an incomplete Christianity if it does not empower us to be a magnificent church. There should be an impact of what Christ does in us fleshed in our relationship with others. If we have any encouragement, comfort, compassion from being in Christ then we have what we need to be clothed in one-ness.
My part is to let love abound!!! When I feel I need to fight and clamour for my rights, I lose sight of the role the Holy Spirit plays in all this. My need to be in control is evidence of complete distrust in the ‘ Holy Spirit leading me’ process. Humility says he knows better and pride says he knows nothing!! Humility sounds hard until we realise it brings with it amazing grace!!! It makes way for the miraculous and the supernatural! I can serve, love, forgive, work alongside, lead or follow anyone!!! That is the miracle!
It makes heaven look good on me!
I am so aware that selfish ambition looks completely different on each of us. For one it may mean going into hiding or stepping away from serving or caring. For another it may mean pushing oneself forward and pushing their own agenda at the cost of others. Unity is the context for this passage. How I respond to the Holy Spirit and where he needs me, impacts on others. Selfish ambition can look different in different seasons. My teens and 40’s have selfish ambition dressed up very differently.
Humility is the same. Humility fleshed out in my walk with Jesus may look very different on me than it does you.
We often filter decisions on how they impact on ourselves only or maybe immediate family but when do we filter our life and decisions on how these decisions will impact on the church and the community of Hills.
Humility is actually fleshing out our complete dependance on the Holy Spirit instead of relying on our own perceptions, experience , personality or our past. Pride says we don’t need him…even in church community.