Twice I find this duty we Christians have, mutually.
Once as a prayer: “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be LIKEMINDED one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6, “be likeminded one toward another!
Then once as a “way of life” statement: “Be of the SAME MIND one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.” Romans 12 (Paul’s great Classic Piece on Christian behavior), verse 16.
By looking at both these references simultaneously, we might be able to build a synthesis of intent. What did the Apostle (Paul) mean? What does the Holy Spirit have in mind here?
The state of being “likeminded” cannot possible mean fully agreeing with every thought and intent and feeling of all the brothers and sisters at church. Not in all areas of life.
One might like cherry pie, the other chocolate cake!
But likemindedness does mean “being willing to understand” the feelings and thoughts and intentions of the brethren. Getting “into his or her mind,” to empathize with their point of view.
The “likeminded” word is actually “phroneo,” meaning “to have understanding.” To “feel from the heart,” from “deep down inside” anyway. “Phren” is the Greek noun for one’s “midriff, diaphragm!” Then one’s “heart.” Next it came to mean one’s “brain, mind.”
See if you can figure … where that brother or sister is “coming from,” in their convictions or aspirations or actions.
That’s being “likeminded.”
Another aspect of this grace is seen in Romans 12:16, printed earlier for your perusal. We are to “condescend” to people of “low estate.” Here’s the essence: “Getting down on someone’s level, without feeling you are superior to him or her in any way!”
Even “be not wise” employs the “phronimos” stem.
We are not being commanded “unanimity,” rather “unity.”
Here’s Paul’s “ideal” in this area, written to the schismatic Corinthians even! “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1st Corinthians 1:10, Wow!
This verse deserves a whole Lesson, or more!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
I needed the material just written today! I feel the Lord may use these very words of Scripture … to make me a better follower of Him, of Jesus my Saviour.