Welcome to Antidote - the cure for anything
Dear Friends, This is the next in the series of articles for reflection. Please let us know if you find them helpful or if you do not wish to receive any more. The first collection is a brief study on Philippians
Antidote - 2 Christ my mind - Philippians chapter 2
So, how are you feeling today? – what’s on your mind?. Perhaps we are feeling a bit angry about the actions of others. Let's see what Paul has to say about this.
In Chapter 1 Paul tells us that his whole life revolves around Christ. This is because of his mind-set which developed following his conversion and his time with God in the desert. What is your mind-set?
Over the past couple of weeks I have seen extremes of behaviour. The "me” crowd spend their time emptying the shelves at the supermarket leaving little for others and then refusing to follow sensible requests to isolate, preferring to have gatherings in parks and other places.
On the flip side are the "other” crowd who volunteer to help others less able often put themselves at risk to keep essential services flowing. The world has always been like this but it shows up much more at times like these. It is easy for us to feel anger in this situation but we need to concentrate on what God wants us to do. God is the ultimate judge and he will deal with wrong behaviour.
Paul tells us, as Christians, that we should be like-minded and that our mind-set should always consider others above ourselves. We should always act with humility. Whilst this is a good start, Paul goes on to give us the main verse in this chapter "In your relationships with one another, have the same mind-set as Christ Jesus” (Christ my mind)
He goes on to describe how Jesus put the mind-set into action – there were six steps He took in doing this:
1. Stepped away from equality with God
2. Became a man
3. Became a servant
4. Humbled Himself
5. Became obedient to death
6. Was crucified as a common criminal.
Why did He do all this? He was being obedient to God the Father and in doing so became the channel for us to have a personal relationship with God. Without this we would not have our salvation. We also see that it was God raised Him up to the highest place where everyone acknowledges that Jesus is Lord. This is the ultimate accolade.
We should not serve God grudgingly – Paul tells us that we should carry out the will of God joyfully as he did. No complaining or grumbling. Working for God can be hard at times but is not a chore.
The last part of the chapter concerns Timothy, who Paul wanted to send to the Philippians, and Epaphroditus, believed to be a pastor from the church who had brought the gift and then fell ill, almost dying. It was time to send Epaphroditus and Paul notes that Epaphroditus was distressed when the church found out he was very ill. Doesn’t this say something about his mind-set? Paul wanted to keep both men with him but recognised that this was not God’s will. He therefore sent Epaphroditus back to Philippi with this very personal letter.
We, as Christians, work in God’s service and need to put our mind-set into action as Jesus did.. We do God’s will not to be recognised by men but for the "Well done thou good and faithful servant” from God. Sometimes the work will be sacrificial as the persecuted Philippians found.
First things first. Let’s concentrate on developing the same mind-set as our fellow Christians as we communicate together and make sure that the mind-set matches that of Christ.