“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.” (Philippians 2:3-7)
I have considered these verses before in these writings but just recently I saw something I had never seen before. This observation comes in the form of a confession that is almost too painful to record.
I have suddenly realized that all the while I have been interpreting this verse for myself, I have been identifying with Christ. You can see why it would be easy to do, since it starts out: “Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had,” but the similarities stop there – in attitude, not in the position. My problem is: I assumed the position. I assumed I, like God, had something to give up when I served. When the example went on to show how Christ left his place as God and stooped to take on the form of a human being, I applied that to myself as well. It was somehow important for me to get down off my high and lofty place and become a human being. Well, hello … what was I before that?
This realization has served to show me how I have thought of myself as somewhere up there with God – with a lot at stake here in this servant thing. God and I … we’ll get down off our thrones here and go to work. OK God, I’m ready. If you can do this, so can I. (Gag me with a spoon!)
When Christ came down, he took on the form of a human being, which is where I start. The only place to come down from is the place I built for myself. And I need to do more than come down off it; I need to kick it over. I need to make sure it doesn’t exist anymore, because it is a lie. There is only one God. That God came down to me in the form of Jesus Christ. I’m the one he stooped to meet.
This may be an obvious thing to most of you, but to me, it’s a revelation of how skewed my thinking has been. I don’t bend down to serve anyone. I am already down. I just need to wake up to my place and the attitude God wants me to have.
Most of all, I need to remember who God is, where he belongs, how far he has gone to reach me, and why he deserves my worship.
John Fischer resides in Southern California with his wife, Marti and son, Chandler. They also have two adult children, Christopher and Anne. John is a published author and popular speaker.
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