“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming 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 acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
- Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)
This is one of my favorites passages from Scripture. It constantly challenges me and pushes me to analyze myself to ask, “how am I measuring up with the Gospel?” We live in a society that is self-absorbed, where me, myself, and I, are the top 3 priorities. However, as Christ followers, we are called to live in a different way. Verse 3 tells us to do “nothing out of selfish ambition and to value others above ourselves.” That is way easier to say, than to actually do. However, our answer to live that way lies in verse 5, “…have the same mindset as Christ Jesus,” Jesus knew who He was. He was able to bend down and wash the disciple’s feet because He knew who He was. Because of His deep-rooted relationship with The Father, He was able to do what He did, no matter what others said of Him. This teaches us that we need to think things through. Once our mindset is rooted and planted in who God says we are, we will be able to do things out of self-less ambition, because we know we are loved. We will be able to value others, because we know we are valued.
Question: What is shaping my understanding of who I am? How can I add value to someone else?
Challenge: Through this time of fasting and journaling, meditate and write down who God says you are.
Dad, I thank you that my value comes from you. Thank you that there is nothing I can do to make you love me more or less, and that I don’t need to do anything to be loved by you. Ground my identity in who you say I am and help me add value and love to those around me. Help me to be a light and show love where love is needed, in Jesus name. Amen