One Mind

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” Phil 2:1-5

If I could encourage our President to read a passage in the Bible, this particular chapter in Paul’s letter to the Philippians is the one I’d recommend.

To my thought, Paul is telling us that the Christ is God’s idea of how we can grow closer to Him. In order to be obedient to that calling, we have to quiet our own thoughts of what is best for us. Instead we have to listen and consider what might be best for all.

It’s what some may call conscience or spiritual sense. It is God speaking to us. This happens to almost all of us everyday whether we recognize it as such or not. It is that still small voice within which suggests a selfless act even when no one is looking. It happens when we let someone go ahead of us in the checkout line or take the parking space we were waiting for. It is when we honestly report our income to the government. That’s God and His Christ.

Mr. Bush appears to be engaged in a “Jacob wrestle” of his own regarding the path forward in Iraq. He has to separate his own pride from what is best for all those involved because his plan isn’t producing the results he said it would. In fact, it may well be making things worse rather than better.

In humility and “lowliness of mind”, God is speaking to our President in the same way that he is speaking to each of us. God is also speaking in the same way to the leaders in Iran, Syria, and Iraq. My prayer for this Christmas season is that everyone involved in the conflict in Iraq spend less time talking, less time scheming on how to defeat the other, and more time listening and praying for God’s guidance.

4 Responses to “One Mind”

  1. ken swartz says:

    I would love to see all involved with this so called war, to pray to God.
    But the enemy we are fighting doesn’t believe in a God.
    These people have been fighting for years and years, and that is all they know. Killing!
    It seemes to me they love to kill. So what are we to do? I believe you have to fight fire with fire. And yes, still pray for peace, because we are a God loving country.

  2. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Ken,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I think that you may be mistaken, however, regarding many of those who are fighting us and each other in Iraq. The Sunni’s and the Shiite’s are both Islamic sects, believe in one God, and are generally more devout in their practices that most western Christians.

    Sectarian violence isn’t unique to Islamic states. We don’t have to look any further than Northern Ireland for the exact same thing in a Christian country. Would you say that the Irish protestants and Irish Catholics are also godless and “love to kill”?

    We may be a God-loving country, but our history is not a particularly peaceful one. Christianity and Islam both have a pretty bloody past as well as present. The Buddhists are about the only ones I’m aware of who can claim a consistently non-violent history. That may be because respect for all life is basic tenant of their beliefs.

    The Bible says in Genesis that God created us all in His image and likeness. I think that “all” really does mean everyone. God also loves us all and is speaking to everyone – Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and even atheists. I also believe that the message is consistent, loving, and peaceful. What we seem to lack is more humility and obedience on the part of us listeners.

    Jeff

  3. ken swartz says:

    Thank you for that enlightenment.

    But you talked about the war in Ireland. Well God brought peace to that part of the world. Do you think that the Sunni’s and the Shiite’s will ever have peace? Remember they have been fighting for years. Even with our American might we can’t stop them.
    Lets just pray God hears prayers from all sides, real soon.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    The challenge for many in that part of the world is the tribal nature of the culture where revenge is recognized as an obligation. From a practical point of view, education and modernization which tends to break down those tribal bonds is the hope for the future.

    For the present, these two groups did live in a more or less uneasy truce for the past quarter century or so of Saddam’s rule. We were the ones who let the genie out of the bottle by removing Saddam and failing to secure the borders, guard the ammunition dumps, and preserve order.

    Prayer, though, always works even if you don’t immediately see the results.

    Jeff

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