I am preaching on Paul’s letter to the Philippians emphasizing teamwork. Paul is writing from prison in Rome, chained to a Roman elite soldier, a member of the praetorian or palace guard. The normal reaction to this treatment would be to be bitter and complain. Hebrews 12:15 gives this warning, “See to it that no misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Bitterness can develop over time when we feel wounded, hurt and angry. It is directed to the one(s) who hurt us. With it often comes the desire for revenge. That’s why the Bible says that letting go of the hurt through forgiveness is so important, even when we feel that the person does not deserve to be forgiven.
What helps is to read the Bible daily and seek to develop the mind or attitude of Christ (Phil. 2:5). “In your relationships with one another, have the mindset as Christ Jesus (NIV).” Read on and you have the example of Christ who humbled himself as a servant and died on the cross for our sins and rose again and is Lord. Jesus is Lord. For Jesus to be Lord means that he is in charge of every area of our lives. We live to worship and serve Him. We have an attitude of gratitude. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing (Phil. 2:14).” That does not mean that we will always agree but even when we disagree we do it in love with a good attitude. In John 17:21-23 Jesus prayed that His church would be united, that we would be one. Do I hear an amen?