The Mind Of Christ
I heard once about a man who went to the doctor after weeks of symptoms. The doctor examined him carefully, then called the patient's wife privately into his office. He said to her, "Your husband is suffering from a rare form of anemia. Without treatment, he'll be dead in a few weeks. The good news is, it can be treated with proper nutrition."
"You will need to get up early every morning and fix your husband a hot breakfast—pancakes, bacon and eggs, the works. He'll need a home-cooked lunch every day, and then an old-fashioned meat-and-potato dinner every evening. It would be especially helpful if you could bake frequently. Cakes, pies, homemade bread—these are the things that will allow your husband to live.
"One more thing. His immune system is weak, so it's important that your home be kept spotless at all times. I can't impress upon you just how important this is. If you don't do these things, your husband is going to die. Do you have any questions?" The wife said, "No."
The doctor said, "Do you want to break the news to him, or shall I?" The wife said, "I'll do it."
She walked back into the examination room. Her husband, sensing the seriousness of his illness, said to her, "It's bad, isn't it?" She nodded, tears welled up in her eyes. He asked her, "What's going to happen to me?"
And, with a sob, his wife blurted out, "The doctor says you're gonna die!"
While I would like to think that those of us who are husbands and wives would be willing to serve our mates in a situation like that, the truth of the matter is that we don't really get too excited about the opportunity to serve someone else.
Paul says in Philippians 2:5 to, Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. And the mind or attitude that Paul tells the Philippian Christians to take on is the attitude of selflessness, humility, service. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4). The attitude a Christian should have is one that focuses on the needs and interests of others.
That's not something that comes naturally. When Christ came into this world, he brought into being a whole new approach to relationships with people. Listen to what he said to his disciples one day when they were arguing among themselves regarding who was to be greatest in his kingdom:
You now that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25-28).
Jesus says that in the Gentile world, in the world around us, there's very little humility. People operate basically out of selfish motives. They have little or no interest in helping others to reach their goals -- except when it might benefit themselves. The name of the game is to get power and authority and then to exercise that power and authority.
But that's not how Christians are supposed to act. And Christ did more than just teach us that truth. He lived it out as well. He demands nothing of us that he wasn't willing to demonstrate himself.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.