1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
"encouragement" "comfort" "tenderness" "compassion" all Greek words that are very deeply seeded. The latter 2 are also used for "bowels." The English translation does not do justice.
"Like-minded" (autos) "same" (autos) "one" (sympsychos). Look at the last one "Sym" like "Symphony" (one sound); "psychos" like in the head (not crazy as we have distorted that word). ONE UNITED MIND.
What a challenge as we go about individual living on a daily basis.
The following has been thought by many to be a very early hymn. Why, Oh why hasn't anyone brought this one back with music (or has someone)? A creative artist could make use of the vernacular and place this back in the hands of communities of followers.
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Talk about "filling the gap..." He went from "equality" to "nothing." There's no bigger space in life. "Fulfill" is the only word to use - and that from beginning to end.
There's no one bigger; there's no one more important; there's no one more glorious because he went from top all the way to the bottom (the very pit of hell) and back to the top. He invites us to do the same and he promised to abide within in order that we may encounter such a daily transformation. This is an all-inclusive invitation.