“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:” Philippians 2:5 (NIV)
How we act and react to the people and events that enter our lives should reflect Jesus. We have to shed ourselves of ‘us’ and take on His way of dealing with events, even if tend to upset us.
Jesus showed compassion on the crowds who met Him as he traveled. He tenderly healed the woman who was ill for twelve years. Christ took pity on the 5,000 men and their families and fed them.
I had a worry growing in my mind. This concern dealt with my husband of 41 years. When I went to do business at my bank and mail some letters, mostly bills. I decided to go on over to the church office and take care of something there.
As I finished the actual business there, I shared with one of the secretaries what I had heard from Hubby. As I shared with her, I told her that several years ago a friend his had problems of the same kind. But I couldn’t finish the thought. She understood. I felt better after I talked to her. She showed compassion.
Jesus showed mercy and forgiveness. When the angry men brought the adulterous woman to Him, He bent down and wrote something in the dirt. This caused the men to wander away from the scene. He looked at the woman and asked if any of her accusers were still hanging around. She replied that they were gone. His answer showed mercy along with forgiveness.
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,”
Philippians 2:6 (NIV)
Jesus chose not to boast that He was God’s Son. He went about what He was supposed to do while on Earth. Jesus didn’t laud it over the ones He met.
I worked with a lady who had earned a doctorate in education and could have insisted that she be called ‘Doctor’ but she introduced herself with her first name. She had been in education before she took the job at the library. Her advanced degree studies were in reading education. If you didn’t see her name tag, you didn’t know she possessed three earned degrees. She knew her job and did it well.
We see people who wish to be treated as regular, in spite of their advancements. Some pastors answer to their title; some seem comfortable being called by their first
name. I had a counselor who possessed a PhD who told me to call him by his given name. I felt comfortable with him.
In walking through our world, we want to appear genuine to those we meet. We try to do this in ways that don’t burden those we are trying to get to know. Coming from a background that is difficult for me to talk about, I prefer not to tell all my deep feelings about things in my past. But I try to be pleasant and understanding of other people’s situations.
As children of God, we are not exempt from the travails of this life. We should always try to realize that we are no different than the next person we meet on the street, in the stores, or at the doctor’s office.
In the late 1960s there was a television comedian who had a one line thought that seemed to bring a lot of laughs. He’d look into the camera and say, “What you see is
what you get.” As I reflect on his words, I realize this phrase of his sums up the idea of authenticity in a way that makes it clear that we are to be transparent before all we meet.
A Servant’s Nature
“. . . but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:7 (NIV)
“. . . made himself nothing,” Jesus chose to not play up his heavenly position he left for the likes of us. Could we envision it, Jesus telling Mary Magdalene in a haughty attitude that He was the Son of the King and He came down from heaven and all he found were sinners, thieves, and prostitutes? I think not.
“. . . the very nature of a servant” He came to Earth to save us and to serve us. God planned it for Jesus to preach and to enlarge His Kingdom. But in order to do this the Son took it upon Himself to serve those who were close to Him.
God’s children should follow His example. They aren’t to bandy it about that they are Christians. His spiritual children are to let their lives and ways show it. Their beliefs will come through to those to whom they minister.
It’s the small things in life that seem to matter to people. Jesus rewards people who band together to meet a need. A friend told a group of us that she read a story about a small bunch of people who did an astounding deed. The lesson that came through was “People can do anything, as long as no one cares who gets the credit.” That’s one reason we give glory to God.
He came to Earth to save us and to serve us. God planned it for Jesus to preach and to enlarge His Kingdom. But in order to do this the Son took it upon Himself to serve those who came across His path. Jesus became a servant to His followers and to us. As we emulate Him we are to learn to serve others.
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