By Robert Halsey Pine
“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:1-12 NRSV).
Jesus is our greatest example. He died for our sins. He did not exploit the fact of being God’s Son. When we try to control every aspect of our lives or the lives of others, what are we doing? Are we feeling equality with God? We may not intentionally act that way, but the reality is that our ego puts us at the center of the universe and we become paper Gods. We have lots of confidence but very thin back up.
We should be more humble. We tend to think that we have everything figured out. We know what people are thinking. We know their motives. We tend to judge and pre-judge. We don’t take time to reflect on situations. We make pre-emptive strikes. We don’t want the other person to get an advantage. Being someone’s slave never enters our mind. Being a servant is a stretch. Our attitude is even found in the smallest things of our lives
I remember a football game that I attended. My wife and I were to meet another couple. Our tickets were together and we had sent the other couple their tickets in advance of the game. I thought that the seats were together on the same row. My wife and I arrived early and took our seats. We slid down two seats so that our guests could sit in our seats, closer to the aisle, and we sat in what we thought were their seats. As we waited, a man entered our row and sat down in what were actually our seats. He got very comfortable and was putting on sunscreen.
I thought he was a real jerk. I started to tell him not to get too comfortable because our guests were going to be sitting there in our seats since we had moved down. My blood pressure went up and I just knew that we would end up in an argument.
Our guests came, and low and behold, their seats were numbered next to ours but in the row in front of us. By moving down, we had actually taken the seat belonging to the man that I viewed as an intruder. He’s the one who should have ordered us out of his seat. He never said a word and was happy to sit where he was sitting. My judgment of him was 100 percent wrong. I had been mad enough to fight him for the seats. I thought that this fellow was messing with my universe. Boy, was I brought up short!
Father God, I pray that You save me from myself. AMEN.