Icy roads caused a truck to go out of control on a bridge. It hit one of the men repairing the bridge and knocked him into the icy-cold river. The captain of passing barge jumped into the water, and held the wounded man 30 minutes until help came. He later told a newspaper, “I have a family myself, but I thought about how important life is. I’m a Christian man, and I could not let anything happen to him.” This event illustrates the kind of compassion the Apostle Paul encouraged when he wrote to the believers at Philippi (Philippians 2). He wrote, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Paul taught that genuine faith in Christ brings an intimate relationship with Christ; and from this union come all the other benefits that God offers. But, he says, this intimate union with Christ should manifest itself by our concern for others. Self-centeredness should give way to concern for others. Instead of cheating in school or on taxes and saying, “I deserve this,” we should consider how our actions can hurt others. Paul pointed to Jesus Christ as our supreme example. He endured hatred, rejection, and violence, to bring us salvation. Paul said the joy, comfort, and strength we have in Christ because we are united with Him should motivate us to be tender and compassionate toward others.
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