Mind Your Attitude by Bob Watson (08 December 2010)
MIND YOUR ATTITUDE!
Life hits us with a never ending complexity of circumstances. Attitude is the way we think about them & react to them. Writing to Christians, living & working together in the ancient city of Philippi, Paul says “Let this mind (attitude) be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians ch.2:5 or as the Amplified N.T. expands it “Let this same attitude & purpose and (humble) mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus”. So if we are to experience for ourselves, and exhibit to others, the blessing of living out the true Christian life then this is the attitude that, by God’s enabling Grace & Power, we must seek to cultivate This will happen only “if” God’s stipulations are met. Compare some of The Big “ifs” of Scripture:
1John 1:6-2:1 - the “IF” of Forgiveness Mt.16:24 - the “IF” of Discipleship 2Tim.2:12 - the “IF” of Suffering & Reward 2Chron. 7:13-14 - the“IF” of Lost & Renewed Blessing
Now follow the Apostle Paul’s appeal to the believers at Philippi and to us in chapter 2.
The Exhortation to a New Focus vv1-4 Exhort means to encourage, comfort, challenge, and warn. There is much to Encourage in vv.1&2
Comfort “in Christ”; Love of the Father; Fellowship of the Spirit; Oneness with others; these promote
Joy. There are joy seekers; joy givers &, sad to say, joy spoilers. The Challenge is to cultivate an attitude of Humility ver3 “Let nothing (=not one thing) be done through”...“Strife” i.e. Knocking others down or “Vainglory” i.e. Setting ourselves up. There can be no Harmony without Humility cp.Mt.11:29; 1 Peter 5:5&6.
We should heed the Warning: - Phil.2:ver4 NIV “Each of you should look not only to your own interests (not just what suits you) but also to the interests of others.”
Mt.7:1-5 “Judge not that you be not judged etc.” Mt.18:23-35 The unmerciful servant. .v 32f
Read also Rom 14:4, 10, 12
Let it be Christ first, others next, self last.
Attitude of our hearts; Appreciation of what others do; Atmosphere of our Fellowship.
The Exhortation then is to a New Focus, a New Attitude v5“Let this mind (attitude) be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”.
The Examples to Follow vv5-30 Christ is the Supreme Example. As Disciples, followers and Learners we must learn from the Master.
Wherefore vv12f Work out what almighty God has worked for you & is working in you!
Paul v17 an example of complete dedication -A life poured out 2Tim.4:6
Timothy v19f an example of selfless care & dedication
Epaphroditus v25-30 an example of costly dedication
The Examination we will all Face “Why do you judge your brother? Why do you look down upon your brother? For we shall all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ”Rom.14:10; In that Judgment you will not be asked to answer for me, nor I for you, but each for himself. 2Cor.5:9-10:
The Reflection in the Mirror
James 1:22-25 NIV “Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” I suggest that man, like many others, is suffering from a spiritual form of STML = “Short Term Memory Loss” Some folk are so busy looking at & commenting on the faults of other people that they have forgotten to take a really good look at themselves .
Face Recognition is something that can be impaired or lost through an accident, or Dementia, when the normal ability of the brain to recognise people & places has been damaged. Those who have had to care for a loved one suffering from this know only too well how distressing that can be. One daughter said she could never forget the day she found her mother standing in front of a mirror and screaming angrily at it, because the woman her mother was looking at was not answering her.
What do we see when we look into The Word of God? Do we recognise the image the Divine Mirror is throwing back at us? Beware of developing a kind of spiritual STML or even complete dementia! Not recognising who or what we are looking at! The Word of God shows us what we ourselves are really like, perhaps not very pretty! But, thank God, the same Word shows us who Christ is “The altogether lovely One”. By the Grace of our loving and Almighty God let us yield our lives to His transforming control and get in step with the Saviour of our souls and the Master of our lives.