Attitude can make a fun activity seem very lame or it can take a task you don’t like and make it fun. When I ask my kids to clean up their mess I often get two different reactions. Sometimes they are indifferent about it and comply without too much complaining. At other times I hear all kinds of complaints. The only difference between the two scnearios is attitude. We are told in Philippians 2 to have the attitude of Christ. What does that look like? It certainly changes a lot of things.
Your relationship with others
Christians have something very special in common; as different as we all are, we are united with Christ. He is our common bond. It was His love that took away our sin and gave us a new life, an eternal life, in Him. This is really a fun picture, as we look at the world and consider all the different cultures, languages, and situations in the world. We realize that salvation comes through one way, Jesus Christ, to all of them.
So, there is unity in that. We are to live in that unity because that is what the Gospel is all about.
There are people in my life that have hurt me in some deep ways, and I am guessing you have people that have done the same. So, the attitude of man says, “they hurt me, I am going to hurt them, .or I am going to always be on guard for people that might hurt me again” You set yourself up to invite conflict again. A new attitude, the attitude of Jesus says, you and I are connected and despite any differences, we need to love each other.
Will you always feel like it? No! Feelings don’t help us determine what is right or wrong. Do you think it is always easy to love people who ignore you? No! In His strength, we can love one another.
Your comparison of others to yourself
How often do you compare yourself to someone else and think “well, let’s see how I am better than them.” We tend to measure people by our own view of ourselves, as if this is somehow the image of perfection. So, what are we to do?
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”- Philippians 2:3
What do you think it means to “consider others better than yourself?” Does it mean that we completely ignore ourself and let ourself get trampled on and destroyed, as long as we look at others as better? Nope, that’s not what this says. Does it mean that you lose all self esteem and refer to yourself as pond scum? No!
This has to do with comparison. Instead of walking around and showing people all of the great things that you can do, and how awesome you are; focus on the things that other people excel in.
This could be summed up as the “open your eyes” principle. Don’t get so self absorbed that you forget the people around you and what is going on in their lives. Take a genuine concern for other people!
Your motive for serving others
There are essentially two main reasons people serve other people. 1- Because they want to hold it over them and hope to get something in return or 2- Because they want to serve like Jesus
It does seem like most of the time the mindset is out there that if I do this for you, then you must do this for me. This is the “you owe me” approach to service. This approach is not the approach of humility, it is not the approach that Jesus took. Jesus treated me as worthy of his service when I was not worthy of his service.
So, in Christ, the motive is not…well, they are nice to me so I will help them. It is, serve them because that is what Jesus Christ calls us to do in love. But…but…but…they are mean to me….Yeah, well, they crucified Jesus!
Jesus Christ, 100% God, possessing all the benefits that goes with being God, did not hold onto that status. No one took that away form Him, He have it up. He gave up some of his privilege and took on the nature of a servant in human form. Jesus does not ask us to do something He did not already do. The attitude of Christ is what moved Him to love you and me. It motivated Him to die for our sins. This was not easy and it was not fun. It was necessary and because He loves us, He did it.
The Savior took a place of submission and service and He then tells us, do as I have done for you. That is a command that we must follow.
God, I am selfish and I don’t want to be. Open my eyes to the people around me; may I make a difference for you. I want to be emptied, like Jesus, so that I might be obedient to your service.