Have you ever thought about what the world would be like if everyone thought and acted like Jesus? Imagine the kindness that would be shown. Imagine the love that would be demonstrated. Imagine the peacefulness that would exist. While there are some individuals that have no interest in thinking and acting like Jesus, there are some that do. While the book of Philippians is certainly not the only source of information about the Christ, His thoughts and His actions, the book does contain some very useful information for someone who wants to be more like Jesus. Paul encouraged the brethren at Philippi to strive to that end. He wrote, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:3-8). If a person learns and applies these principles, then the world in which he lives can be a better place.
Verses three and four help us to understand that life is not all about self. Each Christian should live in such a way that shows care and concern for his fellow man. Paul wrote the congregations in Galatia, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10). This is taught as well in the story of the Samaritan who “…was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves” (Luke 10:25-37). If we are ever going to think and act more like Jesus, then we are going to have to incorporate these teachings into our own lives. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:37-40).
Verses five through eight help us to understand humility. In order to think and act more like Jesus, then I need to know what being humble is. I do not need a dictionary to define humbleness. All that I need to do to learn humility is look at what Jesus did. Before becoming a human being, our Lord existed in Heaven (John 1:1-5, 14; 6:38). He willingly left Heaven for a while, but not for Earthly wealth, fame, etc. These could not compare to Heaven anyway. Instead, our Lord’s explanation helps us to understand what it means to be humble. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). God, the Word, made a decision to obey every thing that the Father expected of Him. In so doing, Jesus became the perfect example of humility. His humbleness reached so far that He willing “…gave himself for our sins…” (Gal. 1:4; see also 1 Tim. 2:6 and Heb. 5:8-9). The sinless/perfect Son of God endured not just death, but as Paul indicated, “…even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). This form of death was to be for those “…accursed of God…” (Deut. 21:22-23; Gal. 3:13). Jesus did not deserve such, but by not stopping it, he demonstrated what true humility really is (cf. Matt. 26:52-54). Each Christian’s life should be one of obedience to God. Humbling oneself is not weakness, but rather it is part of thinking and acting like Jesus.
This article started by asking whether we have thought about what this world would be like if everyone thought and acted like Jesus. No, not everyone will think and act like the Lord, but what about me? I do not have to be one who just imagines that things could be better. I can decide to aid those who are in need. I can decide to live a humble life of obedience to God. I can make the decision to “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). Corey Barnette