One important concept that we often see in the scriptures is that we should be of the same mind. Paul tells the church at Philippi to, “Make my joy complete by being of the same mind…” (Philippians 2:2, NASB) What does it mean to be of the same mind? Does it mean that we should all have the same opinions about every topic? Does it mean that no one should be allowed to have a thought that differs from the majority?
Let us look at some other instances where the phrase is used and try to determine the meaning. Paul writes in Romans chapter 12, “Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.” (Romans 12:16, NASB) Here we see that being of the same mind means not thinking too highly of yourself. It means associating with those who may be of low position. In the church, the rich and poor, the formally educated and those who are not, the spiritually mature and immature are all one in Christ, and therefore we should have the same mind toward one another!
In Romans chapter 15 we read, “Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another…so that…you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us…” (Romans 15:5-7, NASB) Here we see that being of one mind is about accepting one another. What does he mean by that? This verse follows closely after Paul’s discussion in Romans chapter 14 about not passing judgement on the opinions of a brother or sister (we are speaking here of opinions, not of clear commands of the Lord). We need to accept one another in Christ, even if we have different convictions about matters of opinion. Being of the same mind is not about being in lockstep on every matter of opinion, but rather it is about accepting one another—despite our differences of opinion—because Christ has accepted us! In fact, to demand complete uniformity on every matter of opinion in the church will destroy same-mindedness.
We need to strive to be of the same mind in the church, which means that we need to have the same care and concern for all. We need to accept one another in Christ—no matter anyone’s so-called social status. We need to live in harmony with one another in Christ—even if we have drawn different conclusions about various matters of opinion. In so doing, we will be able to glorify our Father with one voice, as He desires.