One of my favorite Greek words found in scripture is “homothymadon”. While it sounds like my 3 year old’s favorite dinosaur, in reality the word means “of one mind” or “like minded”. It’s a word that I wish we could use of our modern church but unfortunately, it’s not a very good descriptor.
Today’s text contains that word as a description of the early church. “All the believers were one in heart and mind” – homothymadon at its best. They were the ultimate community, where everyone shared everything, from missional priorities to finances. If one was in need, someone with more would help them out. And this was the norm rather than the exception. Being a Christian community, there was no fear of someone “milking the system” by not working and just relying on others. Anyone who didn’t contribute did so because they couldn’t and earned the mercy of the group. One in heart and mind – that kind of unity would confuse, impress, and cause the world around us to envy us. What a witness we would have, live, and be with a simple attitude of homothymadon.
Sadly, instead we have adopted the “every one for themselves” attitude of our capitalist society. “We have because we’ve earned it,” the belief goes, “so I shouldn’t have to give away what I worked hard for.” This goes directly against the biblical reality that all we have is a gift from God, given to help others. No, when the world looks at the church, they see their own ideas and attitudes reflected back with an extra dose of self-righteousness and judgmentalism. Our witness is weakened to the point of impotence because we are simply not homothymadon.
Can we change? Can we decide to live “like mindedly”? Can we be unified in our hearts? Can we share what we have, and let go of our societal addiction to ownership? I don’t know, but if we don’t then our witness is doomed.
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