Friday, 12 September 2008

An attitude of humility and submission.

I have been reading 'The Winning Attitude' by John C Maxwell. It has been both insightful and timely. In it e highlights how our attitudes affect our actions and that there are so many factors that comprise our attitudes. He however says that we should have a positive attitude. He says that we should be like Paul who, although faced many circumstances that were hard, facing disappointment, persecution, shipwrecks and the like, he still pressed on towards the goal. Maxwell says that if we keep good attitudes we grow through trial and discouragement, through criticism and painful words. If we have a bad attitude we sink in a mire of self pity and woe.

Paul makes the point in Philippians that we should have the attitude of Christ Jesus:

'Who being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow,
in heaven and on earth,
and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.'
(Philippians 2:5-11)

This comes off the back of Paul saying:

'Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.' (Philippians 2:4)

Paul basically showed us that Jesus' attitude was one of humility and submission. Considering others above ourselves. Jesus didn't even see his equality with God something to be grasped - he submitted to the Father's will in coming to this earth; he submitted to his Father's will in all he did in life; he submitted to his Father's will even going to the cross. This is Jesus who in very nature is God, who is the radiance of God's glory, the exact representation of his being. He humbled himself and submitted.

How often I can find myself wanting my agenda. How often I want my will to be done. I long to have an attitude of humility and submission to God, to my wife, to my fellow elders, to RFC and to everyone I meet. I don't want to be a door mat, but I do want to be a man who does not think of himself more highly than he should. I want to be a man acquainted with my limitations and not overconfident in them. My prayer is that I can look at the attitude of Jesus and learn what humility and submission are, that I may be a man that can say to my God I want your will to be done and not mine.

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