March 16, 2023
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11 NLT
“The ‘Spirit-filled’ life is not to be measured merely by one’s private morality or even by one’s private spiritual experience but by how one conducts himself or herself with other persons” (James Montgomery Boice). If we have the same attitude Jesus had, the first and most basic place it will show up is in our relationships. We are willing to give up our privileges, refusing to focus on position and rights. We are humble servants and recognize that this attitude is a reflection of our relationship with and obedience to our Father. It is a mentality and maturity that elevates the interests, needs, and perspectives of other people over my own.
The key for our relationships is to meditate on Jesus’ own example of submission. He served and suffered for us all, putting our own needs before His own, and, most importantly, putting the will of the Father over His own. If Satan can’t divide relationships with obvious sin and evil, he’ll attempt it through non-submissive, uncooperative, me-first mindsets. These detract from the gospel, as they are completely opposite of the example and teaching of Jesus.
When an individual has a me-first mindset, it’s a clear indication that their identity is out of whack. They are not walking in step with the Spirit and their new identity in Christ. They are walking in step with an old sin nature. There’s no room for arrogance, division, self-centeredness, and disdain in the family of God. When Jesus permeates our relationships, it will be a submission competition. We will all try to outdo each other in loving service to God and each other.
- Jesus, may Your image be formed in me.