16 June 2019
In considering the disunity in the church at Philippi, St. Paul has a remedy. He calls on the church ‘to be of the same mind’. This is an important verb in this epistle. It appears twenty-three times altogether in his letters but ten of these occurrences are in his letter to the Philippians.
How can they achieve this unity? For a start, they can ‘regard others as better than yourselves’. Not an easy discipline to follow. But it is one which bears fruit in the grace of humility.
In his celebrated book, ‘Celebrations of Discipline’, Richard Foster talks about the difficulties in achieving humility. ‘Of all the classical spiritual disciplines, service is the most conducive to the growth of humility.’ he writes.
‘When we set out on a consciously chosen course of action that accent the good of others and is for the most part a hidden work, a deep change occurs in our spirit.’
He goes onto commend the service of hiddenness, the service of small things, the service of common courtesy, the service of hospitality, the service of listening, the service of being served. Travelling along this path enables the grace of humility to grow within us.