Do you have people that you don't really like? Or maybe someone who doesn't really like you?Let's think about that as we read the verses in Philippians together. (Go ahead and read the verses. If you wait until I read them out loud, we'll never finish this...)
In verse one, Paul is trying to comfort the believers at Philippi, so they won't be afraid of their enemies. He wants them to strive together in the Gospel. (Look at Phil 1:27-30)
He tells them to be of one mind, to be lowly (humble) and think of others' needs.
When you think of an enemy, what comes to mind?
1. Unsaved people
4. Those who persecute Christians
5. Those who hate God
It's easy to think of those kinds of people as enemies. But what about Christians? Can they also be our enemies? Well, think of it this way: do all Christians live perfectly? Do we all have our spirit and tongue under control all the time? Could these people be enemies?
2. Act in the flesh
3. Say things without thinking
4. Behave in a selfish way
Why does that bother us so much? Because they are supposed to be our brothers and sisters in Christ. But also for another reason: it hurts our pride. It makes us feel bad. It makes us worry what others may think of us, because of another's hurtful words.
Look in Phil 2:5-8. These verses are about Jesus. (Go ahead and read them. I will wait.)
1. He wasn't worried about his reputation. He didn't care what other people thought of him, or what He did, because He was doing the Father's will.
Let's look again at Phil 1:27 (Go ahead...)
How should we respond when someone else (Christian or non-Christian) hurts us?
I Peter 2:21-24 (Please read the verses. I'll still be here!)
Jesus committed Himself to God, who is the righteous judge. God knows all that happens. God sees when someone hurts you. He knows exactly what they have said or done, and He knows if it's true or not.
It's not easy, that's for sure. Maybe those who have hurt us don't deserve our love or service. But do any of us deserve Christ's? If we remember that Jesus' reputation is much more important than our own, it will help us to forgive and serve others for the sake of the Gospel. May God help us all!