“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.” – Philippians 2:5-8
Most of us like to receive recognition for our accomplishments. We want to be acknowledged for the degrees we have earned, the jobs we have held, or even our successes in marriage or family life. We like our titles and the certificates or plaques that come with them. I think that is part of our human nature. Even if we don’t necessarily want a lot of attention or accolades, we probably feel like we deserve some respect or appreciation for what we’ve done. But that is not living after the example of Christ.
Being a faithful follower of Jesus means taking on the role of a servant, hopefully not to be abused or taken advantage of, but willing to empty ourselves, lose our egos, and live according to God’s will and not our own. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always fun. Having the mind of Christ is not the way of the world. Obedience to the point of death is a scary proposition. What might it look like to humble ourselves and lay down our lives for another? We might do it for our children or other loved ones, but can we carry that cross with Jesus for a stranger? Can we even let go of our status or privilege so another might thrive?
As people who follow a resurrected savior, we must remember that Jesus took on human likeness so that we can see the embodiment of God on earth. The One who knew no sin took on the sins of the world for our sake. How can we humbly honor our self-sacrificing Lord?
Gracious, loving God, our teacher, example, and redeemer, forgive us when we boast and expect praise when you alone are worthy of praise. Grant that we assume the mind of Christ, so all that we say and do is pleasing in your sight. We pray this in the name of Jesus, who was obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross. Amen.
Jaye White is the Director of Outreach Ministry for the NC Conference