In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5. (EHV).
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” That’s Matthew 11:29 and it’s the mindset of Christ Jesus. The verses after Philippians 2:5 talk about how Jesus humbled Himself to assume the lowliest position in creation. He, who made all the universe by speaking, had the mind to become what we’d consider to be the worst among us in order to save us from ourselves. We’ll talk about that more in the coming days.
Until then, tell me: have you found rest for your soul by being humble in heart? I’ll admit: I’m really, really struggling with this concept. Part of me is chiding myself for not doing more of it, and part of me is actively struggling against it in the name of honor (that sometimes doesn’t seem to honorable). Here in America, we’re in the middle of a culture war. It’s more than just our politics: it’s one side versus the other on seemingly every issue, view, or position you can think of. I’m sure this has happened during other epochs, but it’s happening now during ours and it has left us more divided than I can remember.
Personally, I want to be humble and gentle and kind like Jesus but then I want to stand up for the things I believe in, things that I want to think would honor Jesus as well. And in doing so, I find myself being anything but humble and gentle and kind. These days, more often than not, I’m being a jerk to a few people whose reciprocal intolerance is equally egregious towards me and those like me.
Right is right and wrong is wrong, but what good is right when we do wrong in defending it? What I really want to do is take up Christ’s yoke and be more like Him. He wouldn’t respond on Facebook. Jesus wouldn’t stoop so low to argue about things that don’t much matter. Jesus stood for what He believed without trying to demean or destroy the other guy’s heart. My politics, our interactions, this culture in which we battle seems hell-bent on destroying the other guy while trying to claim the high ground.
I’m not talking about defending national interests, or the fighting the war that seems likely up ahead. I’m talking about talking with our friends. Jesus set His mind to deal with others humbly and kindly, even when He was forceful. It was a choice to work from a position of love in all things. Jesus said and did all that He did from this true high ground. How can we do the same? I believe it starts with us falling on our knees.
For further reading: Matthew 11:29, Philippians 2:6.
Lord Jesus, build in me Your mindset, Your heart, in how I deal with others.