What am I?
You can have more than one of me
I can be hard to control
I can be changed
I can be seen, but not touched
Good or bad, I am contagious
What am I? I am an attitude.
You’ve heard the phrase, “attitude is everything.” In the book of Philippians, Paul says, that our attitude in life should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. An attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behavior. Let that sink in, an attitude is an inward feeling expressed by behavior. Attitudes are expressed both verbally and non-verbally and they can be contagious! Either for good or for bad, when you have an attitude, people know it. It is noticed by your employer, by family members, friends and even strangers!
Adopting Jesus’ attitudes and following His selfless example will get us off the self-destructive road of selfishness and on the road to the joy-filled life we desire. If you want to know how to get along with people, even those who are hard to get along with, look at Jesus.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
First, Paul reminds us to have the Attitude of Humility. In verses 6 - 8, here is Jesus, God Himself, who came to earth and took on human flesh – he became one of us. He identified with us in every way. He faced temptation, pain and suffering. He left the beauty and perfection of heaven to come to our world of imperfection. He humbled Himself to become one of us. When he came, He did not come as royalty or the best of the best. He came as a peasant. He lived the life of a servant. He died a slave’s death. He took the lowest position in society. Verse 7, “taking the very nature (morphed) of a servant, being made in human likeness.” This is the ultimate example of humility. Jesus’ humility was displayed in His obedience to God and His love for you and me. It is His example of humility that we are to imitate and model in our lives. Paul instructs believers to live this way among each other. The attitude of humility is submission to the purpose and will of God. To Refresh our attitude we exercise humility by putting others ahead of ourselves.
Second, Paul reminds us to have the Spirit of Self-Sacrifice. In verse 7, "But made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness." Jesus who is 100% God became 100% man and took the nature of a servant and He made Himself nothing!
It is all about living out the attitude of serving others! We value people most when we serve them. One way I’m working to value others more is by learning to wait, letting others go first. I’m assertive and on the move, but I’m trying to learn to slow down and consider others better than myself. What ways can you display an attitude of service and consider others better than yourself? God will answer your prayer when you ask Him to find ways to “love” hour by hour as parents, a spouse, children and friends through a spirit of self-sacrifice and obedience.
Thirdly, we see Acts of Obedience. Philippians 2:8 "And being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross." This is the ultimate act of obedience. Crucifixion was reserved for the lowest of society. It was the cruelest form of execution in Roman empire which usually happened over a period of days as the victim experienced increased blood loss, thirst, hunger, attacks of wild animals and ultimately suffocation. Now that’s offensive to hear, it’s offensive and cruel to execute but it is essential to the proclamation of the Gospel. Jesus was obedient. Obedience flies in the face of selfishness, but it is the key to lasting joy. To follow Christ’s example means not just that we’re humble, not just that we serve, but also that we obey.
In order for us to get along with other people, we must grow more and more like Jesus. It’s not just the mere imitation of His life but His inhabitation of our life that counts. Each moment I choose to put somebody else before me, to serve another, to build people up instead of tearing them down, to sacrifice for the benefit of others I am becoming more like Jesus.
May your attitude reflect the depth of your love for Jesus!