We have been talking about this passage in our community group, and it has been on my heart for the past few weeks. Isn't it funny how unaware of our hearts we can be until God hold up the mirror of His Word through His Spirit? This passage has been that mirror.
I struggle with thinking of myself in so many ways:
- The baby cries at night and I think about how much I want to stay in bed.
- I have a discipline problem with a child and all I can think about is how much it is driving ME crazy.
- My husband works a long day and is late getting home, and I am brought to tears about how I have to be home alone another five minutes.
- I talk to someone at church and wonder if they think ME friendly and helpful.
Me, me, me.
I think about how this must have driven my parents crazy, just as my own daughter's natural selfishness does. We come pre-programmed this way.
But we have a Savior who showed us a completely upside-down way to live. Jesus took no thought for his own reputation and image. He poured out His life for ungrateful people like me. And this is the same Spirit, the same mind, He plants in His followers.
I get frustrated with my pride. Why can't I do ANYTHING without revealing its ugliness? And God gives a solution here in this passage and it's simple: think of other more than yourself. "Rock Philippians 2" has long been a motto and core value of our church.
God knows I can't stop thinking about myself, so He trains me to replace thoughts of ME with thoughts of others:
- Think about how the world might feel to my newborn baby, and how I might comfort him.
- Pray for my child who's struggling to exercise self-control.
- Think about what my husband might need after a long day's work. Pray for his encouragement.
- Focus on what someone else is saying more than my own reputation or appearance. Enter into their world for that moment.
I can own my failings because I am secure in the grace of Jesus. He has met all standards for me. I am not His child because I am good, but because He has birthed me into His family. I am a new creation, part of a new people (1 Peter 2:9), a child of the Great King.