Do you have the same mindset as Christ?

A meditation on Philippians 2:5-11

We are called to have the same mindset as Christ. What does that even mean and how in the world do we do that? I’ve been meditating on Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi. In chapter two, verses five through eleven, Paul calls believers to have the same mindset as Christ. Then he goes on to illustrate what that mindset entails. Listen…

When we have an ethos which conforms to the attitude and disposition of Christ, we consider how we can serve others. How can we use who we are and our circumstances to make a difference in the lives of others?

Consider the words Paul penned just prior to the beautiful hymn about Christ.

Philippians 2_2-4 NIV

 

Verses 2 through 5 illustrate how Christ exhibited his mindset. Verses 2 through 4 illustrate what it looks like when we express the mindset of Christ.

Humble and Other-Focused

The mindset is one of humility about self and valuing others highly. So highly, in fact, we will put their needs above our comfort and rights.

Jesus is divine. All honor and glory are his by rights. Yet, because of how much he values you, me and all humans, he set aside the glory, power, and worship due him as God and humbled himself to meet our need for salvation.

God became human for us.

The creator and Lord of all creation entered the world as a tiny, helpless, impoverished infant.

Philippians 2_7 NIV

Because of our sin we could not be present with our holy God. But because of his love for us, he became human to be with us and to die the death due us. He bore the penalty of our sin by allowing himself to be put to death on a cross, the most humiliating and awful means of execution.

He wore our cross so we can wear his righteousness.

When we contemplate how much our Savior was willing to give up and take on for us, our hearts and minds are transformed.

We Work Out What He Works In

So we have a little bit of an understanding of what we will exhibit in our actions when we have in our mind the attitude and disposition of Jesus. But how do we get that mindset in our self-centered selves?

Our mindset becomes conformed to our Savior’s as the Holy Spirit works in us to make us more and more who God made us to become. He is the one at work changing us. As he changes us we will naturally express his character more and our sin-marred character less. He is how.

Philippians 2_12-13 NIV

Paul reminds us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12) We don’t work for our salvation, we display it through our attitude and actions. We don’t bring about the change, God does.

The fear and trembling is the awe and overwhelming humility one feels as one reflects on what Christ has done for us. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)

He accomplishes our transformation. He changes us from the inside out.

Our outside exhibition of character changes as a result of what God does in our heart, minds, and will as we submit to him and recognize his authority in our lives. 

This week marks the beginning of Lent. This season invites believers to prepare our hearts and minds for the wonder of the Cross. It is a season in which we spend time meditating on the cross so as to more fully comprehend why and what we celebrate on Easter morning.

As I’ve written before, it is a way of standing at the cross before we rush to the empty tomb. As we contemplate our profound need of the saving work Christ did for us on the cross, we will again be awestruck and tremble at just how good the good news of the gospel is.

So I invite you to spend some time this week reflecting on what God did for you in Christ.

How has he worked in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose? How can you display the mindset of Jesus Christ to those you encounter each day? 

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  • Pete

    My approach seems too simple. But the results have often been unexpectedly heartwarming. I just chat, especially with the clerks in stores. Most important, I ask “How are you” questions. When the answers show any kind of need, I say “my family will pray fot you.” And we do. I’ve had people tell me about answers they’ve gotten to those prayers. And I’ve gotten lots of warm hugs on the next visits.

    • I think keeping it simple is exactly the same approach Jesus used! I just read Jill Briscoe’s book about the spiritual arts as described in Philippians. She said something like, “The mission field is wherever your two feet are at any given moment.” That is exactly what you are describing with your approach. Clearly your sowing is reaping some good fruit!

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