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.

Philippians 2:1-2


In the above verses, the apostle Paul spells out Christ’s qualities—qualities that the church at Philippi, and all Christians, should try to nurture if we are to be his followers.

God sent Jesus into the world as his Son. God incarnate—both God and human at the same time. Through Jesus, God showed us his full nature. The character traits that most endear Jesus to me are his humility, gentleness, and servanthood. Philippians 2:7-8 describes that humility:


…he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Jesus was humble from when he entered our world as a helpless baby to when he died like a common criminal. Through his life and teachings the world learned that we are all worthy and created equal before God. His life showed that he did not look down on the people around him. He did not look down on the tax collector, the leper, or the demoniac. He touched them, spent time with them, talked to them. He was a giving person who served others rather than asking to be served.Although I’ll never be able to do what Jesus did, he gave me an example of obedience that I want to follow. I want to follow his example of humility. I want to obey what God calls me to do.

I don’t think the Bible is asking us to die on a real cross like Jesus did, but when we obey God’s call on our lives, we do end up with a cross to bear. Much of what God asks us to do will require courage, strength and perseverance because the work can be challenging. Some of it may bring pain, even suffering.

Yet, despite this, it’s a joy to know we’re not living for ourselves alone. Giving to others brings joy. Our lives become meaningful.

When you see Jesus depicted as he is in Philippians, how would you respond when he asks you to come to him?

Remember what he told us: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30)


Dear readers. If you have mental health difficulties and have been hurt by being treated unfairly because of it, I’d like to hear a couple of lines of your story. As you know, the series A Voice of One Calling is ongoing on this blog. I’d like to publish a selection of your personal stories along with it, starting in a couple of weeks. How many I publish will depend on the response. Names will not be included.
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