Guardrails along the highway give us the freedom to travel without going off the road and down a cliff or into water. My family enjoyed travelling across Tampa Bay on America’s 9th longest bridge, The Sunshine Skyway. I would never have considered driving across that 4-mile stretch without the protection of guardrails on each side.
Paul’s Guardrails for life
Paul’s letter to the Philippians gives us guardrails for life – a framework that ultimately gives us freedom. This passage of scripture helps us clarify what our attitude should be – individually and as a church.
1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
Seeing congregations moving forward in mission together and working together with one mind and purpose brings joy to ministers and church leaders.
How do we make it happen? Here is Paul’s advice:
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Has Christ’s love made a difference in your life? Does being in a community of the Spirit mean anything to you? Have you gotten anything out of following Christ?
Then agree with each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front. Don’t sweet talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Paul gives us a big call
Paul gives us a big call with his list of attitudes:
- Agree wholeheartedly with each other.
- Love one another.
- Work together with one mind and purpose.
- Don’t be selfish.
- Don’t try to impress others.
- Be humble.
- Think of others as better than yourselves.
- Don’t look out only for your own interests.
- Take an interest in others.
These attitudes are worth the effort. Staying inside these guardrails can help us to travel through life pleasantly, with satisfying friendships and giving spirits. These attitudes give us freedom from stress.