Monday, July 1, 2019

NTDS (61): Attitude

Phil 2:3-5 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: NIV

Attitude. Webster’s dictionary defines it this way: a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person's behavior.

The Apostle Paul, after describing in verses 1 and 2 of Philippians 2, the encouragement, love tenderness, compassion and fellowship with the Holy Spirit that the Philippian believers received from being “united with Christ,” exhorts them to have the same attitude towards people that Jesus did. Of course that means that he is speaking to all believers, including us as well.

Now, look at the definition again. We should have the same “feeling or way of thinking” towards others as Jesus did. That will result in our “behaving” towards others in the same manner that Jesus did.

When you read the gospels and follow the life of Jesus, you see that Paul has accurately described Jesus’ attitude in verses 3 and 4. Jesus never did anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit (self glorifying). He always put others needs above his own. He always did that which pleased His Father (Jn 8:29). In verses 6 through 11, Paul teaches on the astounding fact, that even though Jesus was fully God, He humbled Himself, becoming fully man and took on the nature of a servant. He gave His life in ministry to people for 3 ½ years and then died for all mankind on a Roman cross.

Is it possible for us to have this same attitude? If it weren’t, Paul would not have instructed us in this way. Is it difficult? Absolutely! The question we need to ask ourselves is, “why is it so difficult to put other’s needs above our own?”

Is it possible that you might be afraid, that if you put other’s needs ahead of your own, you might not have your own needs met? I think that might be a common fear, but it is unfounded. Jesus said, “do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? …
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
(Matt 6:26-33)

Is it possible that your pride may get in the way of having this attitude? “After all, if they would just do things the right way, like I do, they wouldn’t need to be served?” That is the attitude the Pharisees had toward the people. Remember the prayer of the Pharisee, “The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ (Luke 18:11-12.) 

Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because of their spiritual pride and their lack of a servant’s attitude. Matt 23:3-4 “But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

No matter what you might think the reason is, it originates in one deficiency. If you do not yet have a servant’s heart, you have not yet totally surrendered to the Lord. You will not completely have the “attitude of Christ” until you are fully trusting Him. It is a progressive process. The more you trust Him, the more of your life you surrender to Him and the more you respond to the Holy Spirit’s work in your heart. It is He who places the desire to be a servant within you. You cannot manufacture it.

I encourage you to continue surrendering your heart and control of your life to Jesus, who “made Himself nothing…and became obedient to death-even death on a cross.” Allow Him to form that same attitude in you and then watch your attitude change!

God bless you

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Pastor Chris. Good words to know, understand and live by. God bless you.