As a proud parent I watched with intrigue my children’s sports day and in particular the bike race. Anyone would have imagined that the way to win this race was to pedal faster than anyone else. But that wasn’t the rule to the race. If you finished first you actually lost. The rule was to stay on your bike but cycle the slowest and be the last person to cross the line without putting your foot on the floor or indeed falling off the bike!
It’s a beautiful illustration of the Christian race. Though some misunderstand it. The aim is to have the same thinking as Jesus in relation to other people.
I’m not interested in charming personalities, charismatic gifting and theological minds. That’s not what impresses me anymore. Those heroes died disappointingly a while ago. However what gets my attention is the mental outlook on how a person thinks and feels about themselves in relation to others, their circumstances and life itself.
The Message translation of Philippians 2: 3-4 says:
Don’t push your way to the front;
Don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.
Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.
Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.
Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Our best example, the Apostle will say is of course Christ Jesus and we will see this in the next few days. But let’s read the whole 5 verses.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mind set as Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2: 1-5)
Let your outlet mirror your inlet.
Christ has encouraged you.
Christ’s presence has been known by you.
Christ’s love has consoled you in your bad day.
The Spirit has partnered with you.
You have received tender compassion when you have either failed or been hurt.
IF that has been your inlet. Then your outlet should testify of it. How can it be different?
Did we achieve anything to qualify us for such an inlet of blessings?
Nothing at all.
Therefore, let it be the same. Our outlet of blessings is not to people we necessarily love to be with but in fact those who don’t qualify. It is hard to bless when your culture is one of blame. To be like Christ is counter-cultural to what we know and experience. Nevertheless our world needs to see Jesus. We can show Him today.