To bring the communal aspect of salvation to life means a reorientation of our minds and wills from self-serving to community-serving. Paul asks us to think less about ourselves and more about the community.
We are unable to put others first without God’s saving grace. Only if our minds are transformed from self-centeredness to other-centeredness—imitating Christ, who sacrificed himself for others—can we put reconciliation, justice, and faithfulness ahead of self-serving aims.
With transformed minds, our purpose shifts from justifying our self-centered actions to bringing new life to others. For example, imagine that you are a shift supervisor at a restaurant and you become a candidate for promotion to manager. If your mind is not transformed, your chief goal will be to beat the other candidates. It will not seem hard to justify actions such as withholding information from the other candidates, spreading dissent among workers, or avoiding collaboration. This will harm not only the other candidates but also their shift workers, the restaurant as a whole, and its customers. On the other hand, if your mind is transformed to care first about others, then you will help the other candidates perform well, not only for their sake but also for the benefit of the restaurant and its workers and customers. How can you apply this to your own work situation?
Jesus, forgive me for my self-serving tendencies. Help me to value reconciliation, justice, and faithfulness ahead of self-serving aims. May your example inspire me to take a community-centered approach to my life and work. Amen.