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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
March 23, 2002

    Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death - and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion.
Philippians 2:5-8 (Message*)

The phrase What Would Jesus Do has become very popular in the Christian community. It rightly assumes that we should model ourselves after Christ. The word Christian actually has the root meaning "little Christ"!

Even more important to us than looking at what Jesus would do in a specific instance is looking at what Jesus was like - his whole character. Our being usually controls our doing. Ideally, we would become so much like Christ that we wouldn't have to consciously think about what Jesus would do in a situation we encounter; we would just do it naturally.

This passage is about Jesus' being, his very character. It tells us that Christ was very humble despite a status above every human. He didn't use his status to obtain special privileges. Instead, he was selfless - not the selflessness of someone with low self esteem, but the selflessness that goes with total devotion to God. He is our model of obedience to God.

We each need to examine ourselves prayerfully in the light of Christ's example. Where do we fall short of Jesus' example of selfless obedience? Let us each put aside our pride and status, and let God remold us in the image of Christ.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version © by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2002 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 12:00:03 EST