In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5-8 (NIV)
Paul’s words in Philippians 2 are very hard hitting, even for us in the 21st century. The Philippians must have had the same problem that we have today – people being more concerned about themselves than those around them.
There are particular phrases in the verses quoted above that reveal the ‘mindset of Christ’:
- ‘did not consider equality with God’
- ‘made himself nothing’
- ‘taking the very nature of a servant’
- ‘humbled himself’
There is a wonderful phrase – ‘… did not consider … something to be used to his own advantage …’ Jesus could have used his attributes to his own advantage, but chose not to. Why? The reason was because he was ‘in very nature God’.
Now look back at the beginning of the verses from Philippians 2 quoted above. Paul encourages his readers to:
‘In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus’
I hear you saying “It was easy for Jesus as he was God. I’m only human” Paul knows being Christlike is demanding, so why bother to encourage his readers if it would be an impossibility for them to do what he asks? Becoming more Christlike involves us letting God mould our character so that more and more of Christ is evident in us. It is said that ‘every journey begins with just one step’. So too does becoming Christlike. The first step is surrendering our will to God and allowing him to change us.
[Archives – click on the icon at the top of the page]