The Apostle Paul makes a call to have the mind of Christ (Phil 2:5) particularly as we try to discern what it means to relate to one another. Though the call to have the mind of Christ is for everyone, it is deeply personal and therefore must be intentionally internalized and cultivated. After all, the life we project onto the world is an expression of and intimately linked to our interior life. Hence, any act of compassion must flow and flourish naturally from the garden of our heart awakened and sustained by the habituating the mind of Christ every day all day.
In essence, to have the mind of Christ means being shaped by Christ’s own example of self-emptying (Phil. 2), the true mark of compassion. We serve the other not out of a sense of duty but out of a deep commitment to God who calls us to pursue unity and love. We serve the other not to merit their approval, acceptance, and esteem. We serve in self-emptying love as a way of honouring Christ by infusing his story into ours, by living under his lordship not ours, thereby bringing glory to the Father. The focus remains outward to others and upward to God, and the motive power of compassion lies in the fact that we are “united in Christ” (Phil 2:1).