Tag Archives: Philippians 2

The Missing Piece in our Social Discourse

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:5-8

“We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Our culture is in great need of reconciliation. The divisions between us just seem to grow larger and larger every day. Likewise, the Christian church is in need of reconciliation. The same cultural and political divisions which have wreaked havoc outside the church seem to have had a similar effect even within the church. And as long as we use social media to try and resolve it, we will only make it worse. You see, there is a huge missing piece in our social discourse these days, one that is critical to human relationships. However, this particular missing piece is, by design, missing from social media. In fact, its presence makes for horribly boring–even ineffective–communication in the realms of social media. That missing piece is humility.

In every genuine reconciliation, there is a point where both parties have softened their hearts enough to be able to begin seeing the issue through the other party’s eyes.  It happens to a person when he/she is humbly willing to admit to himself that maybe, just maybe, his/her perspective is not complete.  It is a moment of sudden clarity, when he/she understands (probably for the first time) that he/she has been a bit arrogant and self-centered.  This softening represents a profound shift in the relationship.  …

Let’s Get Over Ourselves

Tuesday Re-mix –

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature
God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature
of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Philippians 2:3-8

Arrogance is just ugly.

Whoever you are and whatever your message may be and however important that message is to me, if you deliver it with arrogance, I will not hear it.  It really is that simple…that cut and dried.  Maybe it is just me, I honestly do not know, but arrogance just so rubs me the wrong way that (despite my best efforts) I simply cannot get past it to hear the message behind it.

My bet with this blog post is that I am not alone in this perspective.

To me, there are just not very many character flaws uglier than arrogance.  I say that with a touch of self-deprecation, because I know with certainty that I am capable of this particular flaw myself.  I really, really hate it when it comes out in me, because I believe it is so very ugly when I see it in anyone else.

The more I read and listen to people outside the church about why they are not interested in being inside the church, when you start cutting through to the essence of their complaints, when you boil them all down, they mostly seem to …

It’s Like Poking Possums

Tuesday Re-mix –

…the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:26-27

…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13

We have lots of “critters” come through our backyard.  Over the last 20 years or so, we’ve had raccoons, possums, coral snakes, skunks, and birds galore.  We even had a Road Runner hatched under our deck once (different story…maybe a future post).  In her younger days, Lacee (our Cocker Spaniel…no longer with us) would sometimes bring us “trophies” which she had caught.  And her favorite was always possums.

The thing about possums is that, when your dog brings you one and it looks lifeless enough, you can’t be too quick to judge.  There is a reason they call it “playing possum”.  You have to poke it a few times to see if it’s really dead.  Sometimes even that doesn’t work.  Then you have to leave it alone out on the patio for a few minutes and wait and see if it gets up and scurries off.  But if it’s still there the next morning, you can go ahead and dispose of it.  It’s dead.  Score one for Lacee.

In my church’s youth gatherings on Wednesday nights, they have been watching an Andy Stanley video series on what it means to be “fishers of men”.  At that same time, I’ve been spending time in one of my favorite passages: Colossians 1.  I have written about it in previous posts (e.g., here).  This is Paul’s very cool statement about “the great mystery …