The Absolute of Christian Attitudes

It would be easy to dismiss much effort in trying to have a Christian attitude. We can be so focused on what we DO that we pay no attention to the spirit in which we do it. We also can have the attitude that we can never be like Jesus, and we just have to be ourselves. If the New Testament teaches anything it doesn’t teach us to be ourselves, it teaches us to be someone else – Jesus Christ. That starts with attitudes and filters down into actions.

In Philippians 2 the Apostle Paul points Christians to the basis of the attitude we are to possess. It is the absolute of attitudes – the pinnacle – the standard. that Absolute is Jesus Christ. There is a giant challenge when we are instructed to have the same mindset, attitude, as Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5).  That attitude is not adopted in its entirety, but rather one tough decision at a time.

The description of Jesus’ attitude goes right to the heart. Jesus, eternal and existing in heaven with the Father and the Spirit, made the tough choice to set that aside for a time in order to come and save us. I doubt anyone can fully understand what that must have been like. To walk away from heaven – who among us would have done such? And more – to become a servant. Even more, to become obedient to death.

Burton Coffman wrote, “…His life was humble, clothed in meekness and poverty, encompassed with hatred and hostility, and marked by an earthly status fully comparable with that of slaves. He even suffered the death of a condemned slave, though he was King of kings and Lord of lords. (Coffman)

We are amazed at the miracles of Jesus, but they are nothing compared what he left behind. That in itself was a humbling sacrifice.

Yes, there is theology involved. True, there is Christology to consider. There was the eternal plan of God, prophecy to be fulfilled. I wouldn’t belittle any of that. But it all fades, when I consider my own sin. To think a sinner like me could be loved by someone who knows me so well … and loved so deeply as to offer himself up in a bitter sacrifice. His ultimate victory, though, calls me to serve Him.

He desires that I love others the way He loved me.

He desires that I serve others the way He served me.

He desires that I abandon grumbling and complaining, and instead speak of His glory.

Jesus Christ set the standard for the attitude He wants us to have. It’s not an option. It’s a calling. And it accomplishes some amazing things. I’ll elaborate in the next post!

Thanks for reading,

John

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