5-7 “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant ...”
Philippians 2:5-7 (NASB)
An actual conversation between three NFL veterans on a flight home after playing a West Coast game went like this (I’ll call them Sam, Bill and Joe):
Sam: “What do you guys want to do when you are done playing?” Bill: “I want to travel around the world. How about you?” Sam: “I would like to own a couple new Jet Skis.” Sam: “What about you, Joe? Are you still planning on going into the ministry?” Joe: “Yup, sure am.” Bill: (his head jerking around from looking out the window) “What? That means you will have to serve people!”
That conversation was a revealing exchange. Even people who have no interest in spiritual things recognize that a primary identity of a Christ-follower is serving.
It is not a trait found naturally in our narcissistic culture. It is a trait of those who represent Jesus.
When God transforms the lives of His followers, He gives them servant hearts. It requires that God break our natural tendency toward self-centeredness – the inclination to think that life is all about me, my time, my opinion, my way, my rights or my gain.
In Philippians 2, Paul states that though Jesus was (and is) equal to the sovereign God of the universe, He chose instead to serve, all the way to His death on the cross. Christ-likeness for a Christian has the look of a servant.
So why is being a servant our identity in Christ?
Because it is Jesus we are serving, not just others. This is not an act of service, but a position of servanthood. We have become His heart, hands and feet to accomplish His agenda in a very self-consumed world.
Does it seem a bit radical to you? Take a few minutes to soak up Philippians 2 today.