“Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
So much of behavior begins with attitude. If you have a wrong attitude it will likely result in wrong behavior. And, conversely, if your attitude is right you are likely to get to the right actions.
I’ve tried to teach this lesson to my children and now to my grandchildren. I am working to help my church see this. And, I’m especially trying to get myself to see this truth. Attitude matters.
Here are two important lessons I want to teach myself and others about attitudes. Both come from this beautiful verse found in Philippians 2:5, “Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.”
1.Your attitude is a decision. Attitudes, like actions, come out of your own choices. The bible tells us to “adopt” the attitude that Jesus has. I love the word “adoption”. Our family is in the process of adopting even now. Adopting a child means that a child who was once not part of your family now is part of your family. You choose to adopt a child and the status changes.
You can choose your attitude. It is your decision. You can’t always choose your circumstances. You can’t always choose what will happen to you. But you can choose your attitude. And perhaps you need to make some different choices.
If your attitude is not what it ought to be, adopt a new baby attitude. Bring a new attitude into your family. Get a crib and a high chair and adopt that new attitude right into your home and life. It may take some work and some getting used to, but you can do it by the power of Christ in you. Decide to have the attitude that Jesus has.
2. Your attitude has a model. We are to have “the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus.” He set the example. He provides our model.
When my attitude is lousy, I need to compare my attitude with the attitude that I see in my Lord. I am to check to see how my attitude compares and then adjust it to match his.
This verse refers specifically to humility. Jesus was willing to humble himself in order to obey his Father and to serve his creation. He willingly sacrificed his body on a cross so that we can find forgiveness and life as we repent and believe. I am to have an attitude of humility like that.
I need the example of Jesus. He shows me a better way than whatever attitude comes most easily or naturally to my sinful, fallen nature. He lifts me to a higher altitude of attitude than my grovelling tendencies. Jesus sets the bar and we, his followers, are to make our attitude the same as his. He shows me what my attitude is to be.
If your attitude is great, just see this verse as an encouragement. But if your attitude can use some improvement, see this verse as a sermon to be lived out. Let the Lord do his powerful, healing work in you. And you will find the great benefit and blessing of an attitude that matches the Savior’s.