Christians are to be unified. How? By accessorizing the same? Not exactly;
SAME IN SPIRIT OF HUMBLE SUBMISSION TO SERVE THE CAUSE OF LOVE
We are called to be about wise love (see Philippians 1). If we have parts of the package (some unity about love) maximize the joy by filling out the unity:
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love (2:2)
What is our definition of love? John 3:16, or, Philippians 2:5-11. God’s purpose is more important than our status. Ironically, when we stop grabbing for status and just serve, we are worthy to be lifted up as an example of God’s love. That is what happened in Jesus, the ruling Messiah.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him (2:8,9)
How do we do that? With fearful awe that God himself is at work through our lives, making us more than complainers (2:12-16). We can actually become pure and blameless children (remember 1:9-11) who don’t wander between the former place of slavery and the future place of abundant living. Here and now we hold out the word of life, shining like points of light in a vast but meaningful universe. That is the life we were saved from missing.
So do we become blended together in one plastic cluster of happy, shiny people? No. Timothy is a great Christian in his diligent sojourning ministry. He travels to new places and helps forms healthy communities. Paul thinks of him as a son.
But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. (2:22)
Is that the only way to be a meaningfully dynamic Christian? No. Epaphroditus went on a short trip because it was needed, but he really belong in his home town. He was very different in his way of living even if he was the same in his faith.
So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. (2:29-30)
I rejoice when I see a spirit of unity in the way of Love. I doubly rejoice when I see that the deep unity of love allows for the amazing diversity of live lived from that love.
CHRISTIAN LOVE? SAME-SAME
CHRISTIAN LIVES? …different…