Philippians 2:5-8

Read Philippians 2:5-8
I am thankful for friendships. I can look back on my life and see where God gave me just the right kind of friends. They were the exact kind I needed for where I was in my growth process; spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Early in our marriage, we lived in a married student apartment on the bottom floor of an eight plex apartment building. The four families that inhabited the apartments became really good friends. In fact we were so close that we would leave our doors open in the evenings, if we were home, and each of us would come and go from each other’s apartments. The hallway was wide enough that some nights we would drag card tables out in the hallway and we would eat dinner together. I know that sounds unusual, because it is, but that’s how we lived. Those were formidable friendships, they were characterized by selflessness, care and love. It’s what we needed as we were all full-time students with jobs, and we needed each other, even at a personal cost.

Paul starts our reading today with ‘In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Jesus Christ.’ Let’s take a look at that mindset today, related to our own relationships. First, and probably the most important, we must have humility. C.S. Lewis said it so well, ‘Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself, less.’ That pretty much sums up what Jesus did here on earth. He is God by nature yet did not use that to his own advantage. Instead God (Jesus) made himself in the likeness of what he had created. Think about that, have you ever created something?  What would it be like for you to become that ‘thing’? Pretty weird, right? Humility is important in relationships because while we often receive from our relationships, humility helps us see that we need to invest in relationships, not only for what we can get out of it, but for what we can give to others.

The second mindset we must have in our relationships is sacrifice. We teach our kids, ‘If you want a friend, you have to be a friend.’ It takes sacrifice to build a relationship. Think about your most intimate relationship, maybe a spouse, best friend or roommate. You may have many things in common, but surely not everything will line up. There must be some things that you sacrifice, and sometimes this happens even unconsciously because you love them. Jesus demonstrated that kind of sacrifice for us, he wanted to reconcile us back to himself and he was the only one who could do it, so he sacrificed himself so that we could have a relationship with God.

Consider today how grace can show in your life as you choose humility and offer the gift of sacrifice to another.

Questions for reflection:
  1.  If C.S. Lewis is correct, in what areas could you think of yourself less- at home, at work, or in the community? 
  2.  What is something you can sacrifice to a build deeper relationship with someone you love?
David Flug | Community Life Pastor

No Comments