Quite honestly some days my attitude just stinks. There are days when it seems all I do is complain and grumble. Days when instead of seeing the good, all I can see is the bad. Days when I would like nothing better than to pull the covers up over my head and stay in bed. Have you had days like these? Surely I am not alone.
Since I home school my three kids, during our Bible time daily, we have been working to memorize Phil. 2:3-11. When we first began it was out of a desire for them to learn these simple truths because generally they can be selfish, thinking only of themselves and there are definite days when their attitudes stink. Yet, somewhere along the way, the Lord began convicting me too with these verses.
Paul here is telling us that we as believers should imitate Christ. He then goes on to describe the character of Christ. As you study these verses you realize real quick that Jesus was not out for Himself, instead He was always putting others first and ultimately the will of His Father. We are told more than once that Jesus was humble, that He put the needs of others before His own and as displayed through Calvary, His interest was for our good and not His own. It was for the Father‘s glory.
Verses 6-9 amaze me. It says that “He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance of a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross!”
Wow, if your like me, I’m thinking, what He is God right, yet He made himself NOTHING! He became a SERVANT! He became a MAN! He was OBEDIENT! All of this was done in humility to the will of God. From the time of His birth until the time of His death, He was no one special. Born in a lowly manger, obedient to his earthly parents, unpopular among the Pharisees and Scribes, mocked and mistreated, beaten and crucified. Not even having a place of His own to live nor be buried after His death. He wasn’t hailed as some great King, instead He was despised and rejected by His very own.
So in comparison I ask myself, how does my attitude compare? What kind of job am I doing imitating Him? Ouch! If I am to imitate Him and have His attitude, then I am going to put the needs of others above my own. I am going to have a humble spirit. I am going to be a servant. I am going to be obedient to the Father. If I am to have Christ attitude as instructed, then what I want will matter little compared to what the Father desires.
Isn’t this the life Jesus lived? Isn’t this the life He desires us to live?
Now, I know what you are thinking, because I have thought this myself, “but He is Jesus!” Yet, this same Jesus who lived such a life on this earth, lives in you and me today if we belong to Him. The question is not, can I do this? For the simple answer is NO. But, He can do this through us as we yield our lives, our time, our resources, our everything to Him. This is Lordship and this is what He desires and requires.
I know the kids learned much from this study, but I think I as the teacher learned even more. For now, when I am moody, griping or complaining, I hear the Lord asking me, How is your attitude? If I am walking in the flesh, it will stink. However, if I am walking in the Spirit, it will be like Christ.