Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Philippians 2:5(KJV)
The joy of the Lord is our strength, and we are called to "rejoice evermore, to pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks," for this is God's will for all His children. As believers, we are called to live in unity with one another, but all too often people can deliberately or unintentionally quench our joy, causing our mind to spin out of control and our spirits to become discouraged, and so we are called to let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly and to let HIM guard our hearts.
It is hard enough when the criticism and contention comes from the outside world, but when the unity of brothers and sisters in Christ is broken through false teachings or disagreements within the Body, the pain is so much greater. But in all cases, the sure remedy is to take every thought captive to Christ and to "let this mind be in us that was is Christ Jesus."
Paul was keen to identify and address disunity within the Body of Christ at Philippi, for he knew that the favour, fragrance, and joy that percolates from Christian unity can evaporate when unrest and contentions are allowed to fester.
Paul knew that the most effective cure for a loss of peace and a lack of joy is a mind that is focused on Christ, submissive to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and which humbly seeks to esteem others as more important than themselves. And so we are called upon to be of one mind, having the same love for one another and living in perfect harmony with a singular focus - the Lord Jesus Christ.
'Unity' of the Body however should not be confused with 'uniformity'. Spiritual unity is from the heart. It comes from within, is guided by the Spirit of God, and founded upon the Word of God. Uniformity is a reaction to the outside pressures of a worldly mindset. It compromises the truth of God's Word and is spawned from a carnal worldview.
The joy of the Lord is indeed our strength, and we are called to rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all things, and live in godly unity with one another. But we can only do this as we allow the Word of Christ to dwell in us richly and the mind of Christ to inform our actions, attitudes, thoughts, and motives.
Let us therefore seek to keep away from contention, factions, strife, and selfishness, which are so often birthed from pride, conceit, arrogance, or ignorance - and let us live a spirit of lowly humility where we regard the needs of others as more important than our own.
Let us submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and walk in spirit and truth so that we may live godly in Christ Jesus. Let us seek to live in total dependence on our Heavenly Father and in godly unity with our brothers in Christ, and let us pay heed to Paul's earnest entreaty: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus," so that our words, deeds, actions, and attitudes may be a true reflection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, what a glorious truth to realise that I am a new creation in Christ and have the Holy Spirit of God living in me. Help me to live in complete dependence on You and in godly unity with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Keep me from contentions and strife, and help me to consider the needs of others before my own. And Lord, I pray that the mind that was in Christ Jesus may dwell in me richly so that I may act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before You, all the days of my life. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.