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Living In Community

Texas Ranger baseball player Josh Hamilton has battled the demons of drug and alcohol addiction. So when his team won their playoff series in 2010, Hamilton was concerned about the postgame celebration. He admitted that it’s not good for a recovering alcoholic to be in the midst of a “rainstorm” of champagne. But something beautiful happened. Instead of champagne, his teammates stocked the locker room with ginger ale so that Hamilton could be included in the celebration. What a great picture of community and putting others’ needs above your own.

This is what Paul meant when he commanded the Philippians to count others as more significant than themselves (2:3-4). Being united to Christ made the Philippian believers members of the same family and gave them a special bond. Thus their attitude toward one another was to be expressed in practical ways: unity in love, sacrificial service, and discovering how to help others even when they didn’t realize they needed help. The motivation for this type of normal Christian behavior is the example of Jesus Christ.

Like Hamilton’s teammates, let’s carry each other’s burdens. When we selflessly love our neighbors, we are expressing our love for God.

Beautiful lives are these that bear
For other lives their burden of care;
Beautiful souls are those that show
The Spirit of Christ wherever they go. —Abbott
Christlike love is seen in good works.