Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. —Philippians 2:5
To take on the mind of Christ is to adapt an attitude of expendability. By attitude I mean perspective. Paul said he took upon himself “the very nature of a servant.” Jesus saw Himself as a servant the whole time He lived. In a word: meekness. Quiet obedience, making no protest. It was a lifestyle. It was His pursuit. This brings us to a question: Do we want the mind of Christ to be in us? How much do we want it? For Jesus it was a perspective, a passion, a pursuit. He lived this way.
Now, some may say, “Well, I did that once; I know what that is.” But with Jesus it was an ongoing lifestyle, and we too are called to this lifestyle from now on. It is one thing to have a week of living like this; it’s another to make it a lifestyle. Some may say, “I don’t have to live this way now; I have paid my dues.” We will never have the mind of Christ in us until this becomes a perspective that is a lifestyle with which we are going to live twenty-four hours a day, every day of our lives. No change!
To get a little closer to the meaning, we must look at what this attitude involves. Essentially, it is a self-emptying attitude. Jesus relinquished what rightfully belonged to Him. Are we like that? Are we always so concerned about our reputation that what people think of us is so important? Yet there is one who made Himself of no reputation.
We think ourselves so important—”Well, I’ve got to be there,” “I’m needed,” “What will happen if I’m not there?”—and we become sensitive and easily offended. We wear our egos—and our feelings—on our sleeves. Anything can upset us. This is because we do not think of ourselves as being expendable. But Jesus, who was the greatest gift there ever was to the human race, made no such claims. He humbled Himself even to death on a cross. Greatness is having this conviction of self-expendability.
Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).