5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.
You can tell we are getting closer to Holy Week for the Lectionary passages become more pointed about Jesus’ obedience that includes suffering and dying. Philippians 2:5-11 is a great passage to memorize or at minimum familiarize yourself with. For in it we see the pathway of discipleship is emptying, downward, humility, and sacrificing leading to God’s will being accomplished in our life and our world.
Jesus’ life serves as the pattern for us to follow. Any other way than what is his is sure to fail to form us as disciples. Therefore, when we talk about progress in the Christian life it must always be viewed through Christ. That is why Paul begins this section by saying, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ.” A mind formed by humility leading to obedience is the place where discipleship finds its fertile soil.
When have you humbled yourself recently? Not when you have been humbled…for that is often not out of willingness but something else. When have you taken a back seat to others? When have you been obedient to the point of being misunderstood? These are the times and places that hold great potential for growth in Christ.