Have this attitude in yourselves, which also was in Messiah Yeshua … Philippians 2:5, TLV
Have this Attitude? What attitude? You see, this is why context is so important. Context gives us balance and helps us walk out the truth in practical ways, without the impossible expectations. Walking it out. Trying the best we can, then being grateful for the grace and mercy afforded us when we repent. So, why do I harp on this?
First, I love YouVersion and its Verse of the Day (it’s what I based these daily devotions on). It is a great starting point. However, rarely is the verse(s) the whole context, which is why I continue to emphasize reading at least the whole chapter. If I build my understanding on just this verse, I would say that I need to have the attitude of the Messiah Jesus. Period. Not a bad thing, at all. But the natural question is: What is Yeshua’s attitude? I don’t mean in general terms like He is compassionate, holy, a miracle worker, perfect, because honestly I might give up before I try. Here’s some context:
Who, though existing in the form of God,
did not consider being equal to God a thing to be grasped.
But He emptied Himself—
taking on the form of a slave,
becoming the likeness of men
and being found in appearance as a man.
He humbled Himself—
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
For this reason God highly exalted Him
and gave Him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow,
in heaven and on the earth and under the earth,
and every tongue profess that Yeshua the Messiah is Lord—
to the glory of God the Father. (vss. 6-11, TLV)
Jesus existed in the form of God — yet didn’t consider Himself equal to His Father. If we begin there, we see that Yeshua begins at a place we’ll never be, even in eternity. His name will be lifted up and worshiped in both heaven and earth as Lord — to the glory of His Father. We shouldn’t have that expectation for ourselves because it will not happen. We’re His redeemed children, yes, but we are created. Jesus wasn’t created.
Still, when Jesus emptied Himself taking on the form of a slave, and taking on the form of a human, He did show us how to live as a human. Not as a goal to be perfect, but an attitude to walk in.
Do nothing out of selfishness or conceit, but with humility consider others as more important than yourselves, looking out not only for your own interests but also for the interests of others. (vss. 3-4, TLV)
Paul teaches the believers of Philippi some basic concepts of Yeshua’s attitude: humility, looking out for others as well as ourselves. Sometimes, giving importance to others over ourselves. Do we know what that feels like? If you’ve ever parented a child, especially a newborn, sleep is such an important thing for a healthy body, it is in our best interests to get enough sleep. Yet, we get very little sleep with a newborn. We place their interests above our own because that’s in the best interest of the child.
That attitude carries itself into all aspects of life. The Holy Spirit is good about showing us when to consider moments when others are more important and when we need to look after our own interests. It’s all in the attitude, right?