Topic: Think of others
Text: And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, (Philippians 1:9, ESV)
Think of others, how do they feel, what they like? Don’t be too self involved. Think of what will benefit them?
Jesus came thinking about us. That is the basis of his appeal. He was full of thoughts about us. God said: my thoughts for you are not of evil but for good (Jeremiah 29:11, KJV) That is why good relationship with us was possible for him.
You cannot have good thoughts about another and not relate well with them. It all starts with the thought. Master at that level and relationships become an easy road to take.
But what if that person has rubbed you in the wrong way, irritated you by their showiness etc?
What you need is to realise is that the people are “who they are” and you are “who you are”, and both of you are in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28), though differently and uniquely expressed.
Paul goes a step further saying: think of others as better than you (Philippians 2:3). That means you see such value in others that you are almost tempted to turn yourself into their servant.
Jesus did that. He saw in us what we did not see in ourselves and became our saviour (giving his life for us), forming a new relationship with us as he became human to help us.
Jesus asked: what do men say that I the Son of man are (Matthew 16:12-15)? They could not relate to him well because they missed it at the level of the identity.
Knowing who people are will help you to think correctly about them and that takes discernment.
So, according to the text, Paul prayed that the love (a relationship factor) of Philippians abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment/right judgement (Philippians 1:9).
So Paul said that we advance more in love through knowledge (information available) and discernment (divine insight).
Let’s add that to Paul’s recommendation of what should define what we think.
He said that truth and pleasantness should define our thinking (Philippians 4:8). With that you can’t get angry with someone for too long. You get to think positively about them eventually.
Action: Is there someone close to you that you think negatively of? How can you think differently with knowledge and discernment?
Declaration: I think like God
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