Today’s Scripture: Philippians 2
The challenges presented in Philippians 2 keep me on my spiritual toes. Is it just me? If so, please forgive me for this spiritual rant. The subtitle of Philippians 2:1-11 is “Have the Attitude of Christ.” “Have the Attitude of Christ”? I can too quickly have an attitude—those who REALLY know me can confirm that. But, “Have the attitude of Christ”? That is another story. Philippians 2 offers numerous “helps.” To answer Paul’s questions, yes, I am encouraged because I belong to Christ. Yes, I am comforted from his love. Yes, I have fellowship together in the Holy Spirit and, well… I do strive to have a heart that is tender and compassionate.
But then there’s verse 2: “Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” That is a tall order.
It gets better (more challenging) in verses 3–4: “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Verse 5 adds, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
Without Christ in me, I am unable to live out verses 1–4. The power of God must live within me before I am able to genuinely agree wholeheartedly with others, love one another, work together with one mind and purpose, not be selfish or try to impress others, be humble, think of others as better than myself, or not look out only for my own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Christ intentionally left his status (as the son of God, equal with God) at the door and “took the humble position of a slave” (Philippians 2:7). What am I/who am I if I did otherwise? In short, I am spiritually arrogant if I do not likewise become humble and serve. Elevating myself above God is NEVER acceptable. The life and the actions of a Christ-follower should mirror Christ’s life and Christ’s actions. Do I resemble him at all? That is a humbling and challenging question.
As a Christ-follower, do your life and actions align with Christ’s life and actions? What specific areas need fine-tuning?
Spend focused time in the presence of God, examining yourself and surrendering yourself (again) to Christ. Make attitude adjustments as led by God. As presented this past weekend, choose to live with high hopes and open hands as you surrender to God.
Lord, please forgive me when I get too big for my spiritual britches. Place reminders before me daily to put others above myself, even when things are difficult for me. It is my desire to be Christ-like in all that I do and all that I say. Amen.
This post was written by Karen Peck, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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