“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” [Philippians 2:5]
So how is this reflected in a Christian’s life? Here are three attitudes that are central to being like Christ. No self defense – no self protection – no self promotion. These are generally standards that man uses to judge weakness in the natural realm. But Christ, though He was called to take on the form of a human, didn’t take on the fallen nature or the attitude of sinful man.
Adam and Eve’s disobedience [Genesis 3] altered their attitude and immediately they began to play the blame game, it was someone else’s fault. Together they passed on the generational curse of sin and Cain’s attitude led to murder. What is murder? Jesus said it is ‘hate’; it is the sin that lies in the heart of man waiting to form the words, to shift the blame and make the accusations and criticisms that bring death to relationships. James said such words come straight from the pit of hell and are set on fire by hell. ”…the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.” [James 3:6]
The spiritual power of these three attitudes—no self-defense, no self-protection, and no self- promotion tore down the wall of rebellion found in our relationship with God and also with each other. Christ gave up His right to be right when He hung on the Cross. He became the Lamb slain since before the beginning of creation. A lamb, totally vulnerable with no protection, no defense and no way to raise Himself up, this alone is the way and the Will of God. “Not my will but thine be done”. [Luke 22:42]
As leaders in Kingdom business we must understand it does not matter what happens to us, but our reaction to what happens to us is vital. We must expect more criticism, for this comes with responsibility. It causes us to walk humbly with God, and to take such action as God desires. [J. Oswald Sanders]
This is what we are celebrating during this season, not because we love Him, but because He first loved us and gave Himself for us.
Further Reading: Genesis 3:12-13; Revelation 13:8