More Like Christ

August 30, 2021

6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. 7 Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, 8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross. 9 For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth— 11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:6-11

Written by Heather Davis from the Station Hill Campus

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” – G. K. Chesterton

It’s one thing to claim a desire for Christlikeness; it’s quite another to live each day with the selflessness Jesus actually exhibited. For although He is the exact imprint of God the Father, Jesus walked the dusty Middle Eastern streets without a shred of the honor due His name. Instead of coming in glory to compel our worship, Jesus came as a sacrifice.

As I meditated on today’s passage, the Holy Spirit revealed an ugly truth about myself. When I’ve said, “I want to be Christlike,” what I’ve often wanted is the exaltation of Christ without His depth of humility—the glory without the gore.

I wanted to be perceived as a servant, while forgoing the distasteful business of always putting others’ needs before my own. And a decades-long battle with chronic migraine and myalgia encephalomyelitis makes this attitude oh-so-easy to justify.

Some might say I have good reason for frustration when I come home, achy and fatigued, only to find the house seemingly full of dishes and dog hair. But the truth is, my anger is mere self-focus and leads only to resentment.

I’ve wasted enough of my life nursing resentful thoughts. Whether justified or not, they only warped my attitude and grew into caustic actions and words. The more attention I focused on my need, the more malignant the needs seemed to grow.

There’s nothing remotely Christlike in such a life.

By God’s grace, His Spirit intervened, opening my eyes to this self-centered and self-inflicted poison. I repented, yielded this area of my life to Him in prayer, and asked that He make me more like the Lord I love.

Now when unmet needs provoke irritation, He whispers, “My grace is sufficient…”

When my family leaves housework me to do after a job or volunteer work has left me drained, the Spirit murmurs, “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve…”

And when I’ve given all I have to give and there is so much more required, He calls to mind the words of Paul, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering…”

After all, if my King came to live on earth as a servant, why should I expect anything more for myself?

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Do you find it easier to serve those outside your immediate family or those within your own household?
  2. When you realize Jesus spent His life serving many who never loved Him—even Judas who betrayed Him—does it help you think differently about serving those who hurt you?
  3. Spend some time meditating on Philippians 2:6-11, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where you need to be more like Jesus.