- Tabitha Caplinger
Philippians 2:5-11 NLT
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,[a] he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b]; he took the humble position of a slave[c] and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,[d] he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:14-15 ESV
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Has anyone ever gotten an attitude with you? Of course they have. And what was your response? Maybe you wanted to give them attitude right back. Maybe they were wrong and you were right. Maybe they started it.
I have seen this played out this week between myself and my oldest daughter. I love her. I love her sass. I don’t love when that cute hint of southern sassiness crosses the line into disrespect and disobedience. And while I’d like to say that I am totally holy and perfect and respond perfectly and holy every time, I don’t. In fact several times this week I found myself firing back at her with the same sassy attitude with which she had crossed the line with me. I’m the mom so it should be all right but its not. Why? Because I want my daughter to not just know how and why she should be honoring to her mother, I want her to know how to respond to others in a way that makes Jesus happy.
We live in a culture that tells us to treat people how they treat you. Its our new golden rule. If some one gets attitude with us, we give it right back. If someone doesn’t respect us, we don’t have to respect them. But Jesus was often counter cultural. And I don’t think thats the kind of behavior that would make Him pleased with us.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we should be doormats that simply allow people to mistreat us. But there is a way to respond, even in disagreement, that holds the love and grace of our Savior within our own words and tone. After all, at the end of the day sharing the love and grace of God is more important then our egos. We should be more worried about people seeing Jesus in us then we are about being right or respected. (FYI, Jesus and His disciples weren't respected, they weren’t treated well by a good portion of people but being liked and respected wasn’t their goal. Their goal was to lead people to the Kingdom and that requires selflessness.)
So whether it is a teacher calling you out, your boss talking down to you, or your mom/daughter pushing your buttons respond in a way that makes Jesus happy with you. Make sure that your attitude, words and actions please Him. You can't control others but you can control yourself. And Jesus is more than capable of taking care of everything else. He will give you favor and blessing because you chose to put Him first. And most importantly the people around you will see Jesus in action through you.
Colossians 3:23 ESV
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.