Being Of The Same Mind
Being of one mind includes having compassion or sympathy for what the person is facing. We can be like-minded through the love Christ puts in our hearts and suffer along with others. Be courteous and humble about yourself.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ all right today? Well I trust so, bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and you and I are back together again to think about some of the precious truths in God’s Word. And I try, as I often tell you, to put a handle on it so that you can get hold of it for yourself. We pray that that may be so today, that God’s indwelling Holy Spirit may speak directly to your need, whatever that may be.
We’re in 1 Peter 3. We’ve come to verse 8. “Finally…” said he… He’s like the rest of us preachers. He says ‘finally’, and then he goes on for two more chapters. (Laughs) You know the old story about somebody asking about the preacher’s mannerisms, and the sextant was explaining them. And said, “When he does this it means such and such.” They finally got to where it said, “When he looks at his watch, what does that mean?” And the, the sextant said, “It doesn’t mean a thing.” (Laughs) Finally! Well he’s going on for a while, but anyhow…
“Finally be all of one mind.” The same mind. Now that is not a new concept in the New Testament. You have it in, in Philippians I think, for example. “Fulfill ye my joy,” says Paul, “that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Like-minded. Having the same love — you love the same Lord so that your differences are lost in the greatness of your love for Jesus. Have you discovered that in dealing with people?
See, each one of us has his or her own rough edges. And we soon discover that as we work with people. But if you love the Lord Jesus with all your heart, and the other person with whom you’re working also loves him with all his or her heart, you do get together somehow or other, and the rough edges are lost sight of. Having the same love. Being of one accord, that is to say you’re working toward the same goal. You’re working toward the same goal. If somebody else has a different goal in mind, it’s pretty hard to work with that person.
But if you both have the same goal in mind, you’re going to get along pretty well. And then he says, “Of one mind.” Your thoughts need to get into the same channel. And that of course is, is accomplished if you base them on the Word and the will of God. “So,” he says, “finally be all of one mind.” Now, how does he work that out? What, what produces this oneness of mind, so far as Simon Peter’s view of it is concerned? Well look at the rest of the verse and you’ll see. “Be all of one mind. Holy agreement starts in the heart. Having,” said he, “compassion, one of another.” Now that word translated ‘compassion’ is our word ‘sympathy’. Almost exactly the same in Greek as it is in English — Sumpathes— sympathy. “Have sympathy, one for another.”
Is that too, too large an order for you? The problem is oftentimes that for the most part we really don’t care all that much about other people. So-and-so fell and broke his leg. “Oh,” we say, “that’s too bad,” and we go on. Because your leg isn’t hurting, you’re able to walk around. Sympathy means to feel for the other person, and to enter into his or her experience at the time.
I think probably one of the reasons why God allows us to have experiences that are unpleasant is that we might be able to share sympathetically with other people who are going through similar conditions in life. “Blessed be God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the go-, the father of mercies and the god of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our troubles, that we — in order that, that means in order that — we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. That’s 2 Corinthians 1,3, and 4 that I just quoted for you.
God lets me cry so I can wipe away somebody else’s tears. Now if you don’t like that… Some people write me bitter letters when I say things like this, and I don’t blame you. If you’re going through some, some awful heartbreaking experience, and you hear Bob Cook say, “God lets me cry so I can help dry somebody else’s tears,” it’s very little comfort for you, I realize that. But see, I have to tell you the truth. And you read your Bible and you’ll find it saying, “God let them and allowed them to hunger that He might feed them.”
His chosen people Israel there in the wilderness would not have appreciation, would not have appreciated God’s supply of food if they hadn’t been hungry. He brought water out of the rock, but He let them get thirsty first. And over in The Prophets, you hear Isaiah say, “Therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you.” He’s going to wait until you’re ready for it. Now you parents and grandparents are familiar with that approach because oftentimes you’ve said, “Well, I would get junior this or that, but I don’t he’s ready for it yet. He wouldn’t appreciate it.” You know, you’ve said that.
So God is your heavenly Father. And He knows what’s good for us. And He knows what will make us better people, see? All this growing out of that word ‘sympathy’. God lets me cry so I can dry somebody else’s tears. But do it, do it. Show the, the outgoing loving heart that shares another person’s need or hurt or grief. Then, one mind. What else? He said, “Love as brethren.” That’s your familiar word ‘Philadelphia’ — love of the brethren. You want to be of one mind? Ask God to fill your heart with love for the people with whom you work.
Now I learnt from Dr. Bill Bright years ago, this truth: that you can take by faith, those things that you need — including love for somebody else who may not be that particularly loveable. He told me the story of how God answered his prayer concerning someone who was to him, at the time, a real hazard and, and one that would be very difficult to love in Christian love. And so, he prayed about it. And God led him to take, by faith from Jesus, a heart full of love for that person.
A great lesson to learn — love as brethren. You see, Christian, Christian love for brothers and sisters does not depend upon whether or not we’re so nice and loveable. It depends upon the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. Romans 5:5 says, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us.” Is there somebody in your church or in your circle of Christian friends who is particularly difficult? And you find that you resent that person — not to say hate, but there’s, there’s no real love for that person?
And yet he or she may well be a dear child of God, genuinely saved, and you’re going to be I heaven together. What’re you going to do about it? Go on resenting? Go on stiffening with resentment every time the name is mentioned? Oh I hope not, because you know you can, by the grace of God, have a heart full of love for a person who may humanly speaking, be very difficult — not to say impossible. “Love us brethren.”
Small thought here: He says, “Don’t love just as good friends — love as brethren, members of the same family.” You’re members of the heavenly family. When you pray, and the other person prays, you both say, “Our Father which art in heaven.” You’re members of a family. Don’t turn your back on family members. “Love,” said he, “as brethren. Ye belong to the same family of God.”
Then he said, “Be pitiful.” Pitiful, full of pity. Now that’s a Greek word that means ‘suffer with people’, ‘suffer with people’. Enter in to the experience of other folk, not just passing by. What is the illustration best suited for this? I think you’ll find it in the story of what we call ‘The Good Samaritan’. Here was this man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among thieves who robbed him, stripped him of his, his, his clothing, and wounded him, and left him lying half-dead. Pitiful object there, in the dusty road, on the way to Jericho.
Now there came a priest who looked at him and passed by on the other side — he wasn’t going to defile his hands or garments with that poor unfortunate’s blood. So he passed by. Then a Levite came, a person who was expert in The Law. He came, and looked, and passed by on the other side — he wasn’t going to bother about him. Finally there came this, this man who was a Samaritan, a traveling man evidently, who came that way regularly because he was known to the innkeeper — you find that out later on in what he said to the man who kept the inn.
And so he said he was moved with compassion. It hurt him because the other person was suffering so. And he got down from his donkey or whatever he was riding, and went to him, it said, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and took him to an inn and took care of him. And on the morrow it said, he took out three pence — that’s three days wages — and gave them to the innkeeper and said, “You take care of him. And if you spend anything else, you know I come by here regularly; I’ll pay you when I come by.” He gave the innkeeper a blank check, in other words, to take are of this man. Now Jesus said, “He was a real neighbor, he was the one that was real.” So this matter of, of, of real compassion, and real sympathy, and, and full of pity has to do with entering into the sufferings and the hurts of other people.
Small thought here: Don’t pry into other people’s lives. You don’t have to pry and ask embarrassing questions. Just be there. Just show love and concern. And where there is an opportunity to refer the person to the blessed Lord, do so. There is more beneficial therapy in a loving moment of prayer than in all the conversation in which you could engage, believe me.
Then he says, “Be courteous.” Now that is a concept we have of, of learning when to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and, and, and ‘what is your opinion’, and, and, and ‘pardon me’, and ‘excuse me’, and so on. Be courteous. Actually the word means ‘humble minded’ — having a modest opinion of yourself. Now all of this is under the heading of ‘be of one mind’ — remember? If you want to get together with people, share in compassion — our word ‘sympathy’, share in Christian love as members of God’s family, share in their sufferings. And then, have a humble, a modest opinion of yourself.
You remember the young man who was so egotistical that he talked endlessly about himself. Suddenly he broke off, sensing that his date was bored. And he said, “Well that’s enough about me. Let’s not talk about me. Let’s talk about you. What do you think about me?” (Laughs) Some people simply can’t be cured I guess. Humble-minded, having a modest opinion of yourself — that’s what that really means. True courtesy is willing to get out of the way.
I was in Japan, waiting with General Harrison and a crowd of other people, before the doors of an elevator. When the doors opened, right, way at the back of the crowd I heard the voice of a GI say, “Get out of the way, I got to get through here. And he was pushing his way through. And suddenly he saw that he was pushing a 4-star general, William K. Harrison. And his face grew ashen with, with fear. And the general smiled and said, “That’s all right son, go ahead.” Courteous, courteous. Try it on for size. We’ll come back to this the next time we get together.
Dear heavenly Father, make us people of one mind, because we’re of one heart. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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