Do the Opposite
Day: 17 | Plan: Christ Alone
Today’s Reading: Philippians 2
Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV) “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Let’s face it, relationships are challenging. And Paul’s relationship-building tips are out of the box and counter to the world in which we live. The message we receive from social media, mainstream media and secular print sources is: Think of yourself first, and do whatever it takes to be successful. Paul challenges believers to survey the way the world builds relationships and treats others, then do the opposite.
Paul is passionate about message of humility and unity. Unity welcomes our differences as we develop our likeness around one Person. We accept and love our diversity because of our love for Jesus and our common desire to be like Him.
Paul teaches that since we have unity with Christ we should also imitate Christ’s humility in our relationships with others. This lifestyle is completely counterculture and is often misunderstood by the world.
Jesus offers the perfect example of what humility looks like. It begins, He says, with having the mind of Christ. Oh, the loftiness and responsibility! The magnitude of the statement is made clearer as Paul unpacks the details.
We demonstrate biblical humility that promotes unity when we:
- Focus on the greatness of God, not our own. Jesus was God and had all the privileges of deity, yet He did not hold onto those rights or His rightness. His actions always put others first and deflected any glory He received to God. (Philippians 2:6)
- Serve without seeking attention and gratitude. Jesus took on the nature of a servant. Even though He had power as a leader, He served. He served across cultural, economic and relational boundaries. (Philippians 2:7)
- Obey God even when the task seems extreme. Jesus gave His physical life in obedience to God. While, in most cases our obedience will not require the giving of our physical life, humility says, God, I’ll obey even if Your call to action seems risky. (Philippians 2:8)
Living a lifestyle opposite of the world isn’t popular but it presents Christ to the world. When we lower ourselves and lift up Christ, others are drawn to Him and we are aligned with Him. There is no better place for the believer to dwell than in agreement with the Father.
Prayer: Father, living the opposite is hard. My culture directs me to live in a way that is contrary to Your instructions. Your Word is truth and good for me. Living by it, I am shaped into Your likeness. I boldly pray for the courage to live counterculture, in full alignment with Your heart and Your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.
I long to follow God’s will, really, I do, but I often find it hard. There are times when... Read More
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