In the centerpiece of Paul’s letter to the Philippians (Chapter two), the relation of the Christian’s attitude to Christ’s attitude cannot be missed. How often do we choose to do the right things, but ignore the importance of our attitudes?
It’s easy to develop a bad attitude. One wife wrote: My husband, being unhappy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods. We’ve discovered that when I’m in a good mood, it turns green. When I’m in a bad mood, it leaves a big red mark on his forehead. Maybe next time he’ll buy me a diamond.
More than just having a positive attitude, the Christian attitude creates an atmosphere – a kind of aura around our life that reflects the strength of Jesus Christ. Without a Christian attitude chaos reigns. When we work at having the mindset of Christ we will be transformed personally, in our community life, and in our church.
In his introduction to the ideal of Christian attitudes the Apostle Paul paints a picture of what this atmosphere looks like (Philippians 2:1-4).
Encouragement.There are so many discouraged Christians. Sometimes for good reasons, sometimes it is simply a reflection of attitudes that do not come from Christ. It is encouraging to be united with a diverse body of believers all drawn to the same hope.
Comfort. The hurts and pains of this world are comforted in the love of Christ. This love is often brought to us by our fellow Christians who demonstrate the grace found within their own hearts.
Sharing. The common sharing in the Spirit draws us together in a beautiful way when we allow Him to reign. It leads to tenderness and compassion in the Body. “Are your hearts tender and sympathetic?” (NLT).
When the atmosphere of encouragement, comfort, and sharing is present, then the temptation to do things out of selfish ambition and conceit is diminished. When we have the attitude of Christ, we will be focused on the other person.
When we agree to follow after Jesus Christ, we have accepted a great challenge. After all, His focus was not on himself. This is a major problem for many Christians (possibly most!).
What are you doing today to create the atmosphere that a Christian attitude brings? The power is not in you being you, it is in you being Christ. That is for the next post!
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