"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
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!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)
Philippians is a letter from Paul, with instructions on how to live life, giving specific models to follow. Paul is concerned about who you are modelling your life, thoughts and relationships after and he gives us models to follow and models to reject (Philippians 2:19-30, 3:2,9,17, & 4:2). Paul is under house arrest and Timothy is with him: He is in lockdown! We want to have a healthy mind in lockdown and a healthy mind is connected to Christ - not our circumstances, but a person. The gospel is the door to salvation but it is also the window through which we see the world and so we unite around Christ.
As many of us have done as we spend hours at home in front of screens, we need to check our posture. If you were to exercise with the wrong posture, you would not use the equipment correctly and probably injure yourself. We used to wear WWJD bracelets (What Would Jesus Do?) but before that we should be considering our mental posture: “How does Jesus think?”. Paul says that we should have the same mindset as Jesus in how we relate to people. The world has a culture of “What do I get out of it?”, when it comes to relationships. The example of Jesus is not a sub-culture but a counter culture. Always taking won’t satisfy or fulfil you, we are called to do the opposite. The example of Jesus is one of humility and the byproduct is joy and joy-filled relationships.
Philippians 2:5-11 is what is called the ‘Christ hymn’, and it shows us the model we should follow.
Jesus didn’t leverage His position or status (vs 6). Jesus wasn’t “like God”, He actually was God but the kingdom of God is the opposite of the world, so He chose the low door. No one forced Jesus to serve, He chose it. Secure people can serve easily. Your value will always come from somewhere and when you’ve settled your value in God first, you aren’t looking for it. You can approach people each day with an attitude of “How can I help?”. God can use you in any sphere, but it takes work to find your value in Him and not in your position or things. Settle your value in Christ each morning so that you can use your position to bring value to others.
Jesus was accessible: a person not principles (vs 7). We want our connect groups to be real and relatable, a safe space where we can be vulnerable with each other. People are more likely to connect with your struggles than with your achievements.
Jesus didn’t need anyone to humble Him, He did it Himself (vs 8). Do you need outside voices to humble you? Pride robs us of so much. The world teaches us to dominate, push and compete to be great. Jesus says the opposite: Be a servant to be great. God honoured Jesus for His humility, not just restoring Him to life but exalting Him (vs 9-11). We all want the “therefore God” moment where God uses us for His glory but are we willing to have the same mindset as Christ in our relationships with one another choosing to think of others above ourselves and look to the interests of others instead of our own? That’s when God steps in! Ask Him this week about your mentality in your relationships and let Him reveal any underlying posture issues you might be having.
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT
- Do you have any stories of people who chose not to pull rank in order to help someone?
- What is your value to God? Are there verses you can declare to yourself each morning before starting work?
- Our next step: Ask God this week about your mentality in your relationships and let Him reveal any underlying posture issues you might be having.
- Are there people in your spheres at the moment, whom you can ask “How can I help?” -pray for them and for God to use you.