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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Community Helps Me Live Out the Attitude Of Christ

In review of Philippians 2:3-4 it says, “In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (NIV).

Bottom Line:
In humility value others more than yourself, look to their interests above your own.

What this means to me:
In humility, I am to consider others as better than myself, looking not only to my own interest but to the interest of others.

In Philippians 3-5, Paul tells me how to have the attitude of Christ. He tells me to not be selfish, and to not “try to impress others”. Instead, I’m to be humble, thinking of others as better than myself. I shouldn’t look out for only my interests, rather take a keen interest in others, having the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Selfishness can ruin things, but genuine humility can build it. Being humble involves me having a true perspective about myself. It doesn't mean that I should put myself down. Before God, I am a sinner, saved only by God's grace, but I am saved and therefore have great worth in God's Kingdom. I am to lay aside selfishness and treat others with respect and common courtesy. Considering others' interests as more important than my own will link me with Christ, who was a true example of humility.

In the sense of unity, Paul encourages me to guard against any selfishness, prejudice, or jealousy that might lead to dissension. Showing a genuine interest in others is a positive step forward in maintaining unity among believers.

Jesus Christ was humble. He was willing to give up his rights in order to obey God and to serve people. Like Christ, I should have a servant's attitude, serving out of love for God and for others, not out of guilt or fear. Remember, I can choose my attitude. I can approach life expecting to be served, or I can look for opportunities to serve others.

I’m also learning that I need other people to watch out for, defend, protect, and help me stay on track (living out the attitude of Christ). In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul tells us that I should look out for each other’s interests, not just my own. What a counter-cultural verse! In America today, it’s all about me, my needs, interests, wants, and ambitions. But Paul teaches me to look out for others, too.

I’m reminded that I have a personal enemy who wants to defeat me and get me off track in following and imitating Christ. He wants to bring problems into my life, ruin my relationships, and hurt me as badly as he can. He wants to hurt God but can’t, so he goes after God’s children. On my own, I will never win against Satan. But when I have other people to watch out for me and help me, I can be victorious. Advice from Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves” (NIV).

Given my recent job change and being away from home more, I’m missing out on the regular fellowship I had when being part of a Thursday night group. Because of this, I don’t really have anyone who can watch my back, or help defend me and watch out for my spiritual welfare. I know I need a community of people who are saying to me: “We’ll be with you when you’re going through the tough times. We’re not going to let you get discouraged or depressed.”

Community is God’s answer to overcoming discouragement and defeat. Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (NIV).

Remember: I can try, but I can’t live life well on my own. I need other people to walk with me, work with me, and watch out for me. I need to consider either leaving work earlier on Thursday so that I can join my old group again or give up sleeping in on a Saturday morning to join a group who meets early that day.