Wednesday, 01 February 2023
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…” -Phil. 2:5
When Paul says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” he tells us to do what Jesus did, to think what He thought, to have the same attitude of servanthood that He had. Verses 6-11 not only spell out what that attitude was but how it was lived out in His life. Attitude is of no value until it is physically expressed and exercised in actions. Our attitude should determine our actions, because actions demonstrate true attitude. Ultimately what you are is what you do. The “mind of Christ Jesus” was of servanthood- and we are called to be like Him. How was He a servant?
Here are a few principles that apply to our life of being a servant:-
· Giving up my rights for others (Vs. 6)
The original language here says that Christ was of the very same nature as God, that He was in fact God. Paul makes it very clear that Jesus was and is God; not just a prophet, a teacher, a healer— but God incarnate! Yet “He did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.” In other words, Jesus did not hold on to His rights as God. He gave up His privileges in order to come as a man and suffer a death we deserved. Servanthood means giving up my rights for others.
· Becoming less so others can become more (Vs.7)
He emptied himself (NASB) – Jesus poured Himself out, made Himself of significance by taking on the form of the very nature of a servant. He willingly left the splendor of heaven for the smell of a stable. He left the company of angels for the company of men. He who was omnipresent took up the limitations of humanity. He who had the Kingly robe in heaven chose the Old rugged cross at Mount Calvary.
This is at the heart of what it means to follow Christ- to lose our life to save it; to be emptied of self in order to be filled with Him and His passion. Our fallen nature is least interested in being emptied, but in being filled. We would like to become “something” or “someone” than in becoming nothing and no one. Yet, if we are going to be like Jesus, we must become servants—become less and allow others to become more at our expense.
· Being obedient whatever the cost (Vs. 8)
In the Roman world crucifixion was the lowest anyone could stoop, socially and the cruelest form of official execution. Death often came slowly, sometimes a few days, as the victim experienced increased blood loss, thirst, hunger and suffocation. The depths of humility to which Jesus sunk to die on the Cross proves His obedience to the will of the Father. But Jesus was obedient, obedient to even death on the cross.
We have selective obedience which is not real obedience. Genuine discipleship involves being obedient to Christ, whatever the cost or the call. Being a disciple of Jesus is not part time or partial— it is either all or nothing.
We can demonstrate our faithfulness to God and our servanthood not by giving of ourselves in some heroic fashion; but in the small, simple steps of faith in the daily walk of our life. This mindset of serving others instead of being served, of giving obedience rather than dominating should be lived out. How do we treat the office boy in our work place? How do we talk to the man collecting our garbage? Most often, we are very different when we treat those socially above us, but how do we treat those socially below us? Is our attitude like the world’s or is it like Christ’s? Day by day do we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts as we meditate on the work of Christ portrayed on the Cross, becoming more of a servant? The example has been set! The call is clear!
Thought for the Day: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less” - C.S. Lewis