Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.Though he was God,he did not think of equality with Godas something to cling to.Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;he took the humble position of a slaveand was born as a human being.He humbled himself in obedience to Godand died a criminal’s death on a cross.Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honorand gave him the name above all other names,that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth,and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,to the glory of God the Father.
~Philippians 2:1-11 (NLT)
Memorial Day…a day to remember and honor sacrifice. As Christians, we understand that the greatest sacrifice made for us came from Jesus. He died to give us life! But not only did He offer His earthly body as a sacrifice, He willingly gave up His equality with God, or as this passage describes, “…he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.”
Jesus humbled himself to save us!
We honor Jesus’ sacrifice by taking on this same attitude. Paul encourages us to value others above ourselves, looking to their interests instead of our own. In our relationships with each other, he instructs us to have the same mind as Christ~humility.
I can usually get this right with other believers in my church. For some reason, in the church environment this attitude is easier for me~more “top of mind”. However, outside of those church doors it becomes more difficult, especially as I encounter those “difficult” people. Yet what surprises me most is the difficulty I have maintaining this mindset in my personal relationships with family, including (and sometimes especially) my spouse. As I observe other marriages around me I know I am not alone. For some reason, marriage is often the place where we want to demand our own rights. We put ourselves first instead of our spouse. We focus on the other person’s perceived “failures” instead of offering them the grace and mercy we desire, even demand, for ourselves.
How do we maintain “the same mindset as Christ Jesus”, even in our marriages? How do we listen to the still, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit inside when our “flesh” is screaming out the demand for our own rights and needs? My husband describes it well when he compares listening to the Holy Spirit as tuning into the right radio frequency. Too often, the radio of our thoughts and minds are tuned to ourselves. We need to tune in to the same frequency as the Holy Spirit so His voice becomes our primary focus and we quickly recognize the truth He shares in every moment.
I have found 3 ways that help me stay tuned in to the right frequency each day.
- Consistency in studying God’s Word. To recognize the voice of His Spirit, I must first know the truth of His Holy Word. By reading God’s Word every day, I allow His truth to transform my thoughts and actions.
- Setting aside quiet time each day to purposefully tune in to the Spirit. I find that quieting my mind first thing in the morning, sometimes even before I get out of bed, allows the Holy Spirit to speak truth that I need for the day ahead. By spending additional quiet time late in the evening, after the day is complete, I allow the Holy Spirit to review my day and help guide me to any changes God desires for me.
- Pausing before I react. When those tough times come during the day, pausing to check in with the Holy Spirit allows Him to make immediate adjustments in my attitude. Sometimes it’s just a prompt for me to keep my mouth shut until He can help me see truth. (It often takes me extra time to let go of my own “wants” and embrace my true desire to follow Jesus.)
Having the same mindset as Christ is not a one-time occurrence, rather it is a choice we must make each day, each moment, as we focus on loving others the way Christ loves us. But when we get this right, we are truly honoring the great sacrifice Christ made for us!
Breathe in His love…exhale all your struggles…
When we fully understand the depth of Jesus’ love for us, our only response is to return that love, both to God and to those around us.
Jesus~I sometimes have trouble comprehending the love You showed to us and the humility You displayed by leaving Your rightful throne on high and becoming like us, a mere human. Not only did You become like us, You offered Yourself on the cross, taking our place so that we might have true freedom. You showed us how to love each other, with humility and mercy. You showed us true love because our Father in heaven IS love. To know God is to know love. To allow God to live through us is to love others just like You love us. Help us honor Your sacrifice and stay tuned in to Your Holy Spirit every moment of every day so we can shine Your light of love through our lives to those around us…
Today’s post was written by Michele Barnes.
Michele is married to the love of her life, Jeff. She has 3 grown children and 1 sweet grand-baby on the way! Most days you can find Michele laughing with good friends, working with numbers, writing, or working with women. In the evenings, she enjoys spending time in a few creative outlets like creative lettering, drawing, and pottery. She loves snuggling with her dog, Tebow, and reading, but has always hated coffee. Lately, her sweet barista daughter is teaching her to enjoy a nice cup of cappuccino. You can find her most weekends worshiping at our Real Life Clermont campus.