Get Yours Second

5. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, even death on a cross. 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—

Philippians 2:5-8

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. That statement can be overwhelming to the point where it is simply regarded as hyperbole and never tried. But the apostle Paul didn’t say, “be as smart as Jesus” or “as wise as Jesus”. Instead, Paul equates like-mindedness with Christ with humility. Something that is available to everyone regardless of gifts, talents, or passions. Humility doesn’t take specialized training but it does require powerful courage.

Getting “ours” first is the way of the western world. Taking care of us before we think about others is the temptation we face. And I admit that if the power we are living in is our own we better get ours first! But, if the power is from above, perfect in timing and complete in goodness for every person, then we can let others go first, get more, have the headline, take the credit, and on and on. The presupposition that Paul makes when he encourages having the mind of Christ is that we are living out of the power of Christ.

A word of clarification. Let’s not confuse self-care with selfishness. There is definitely a place for caring for ourselves in order to care for others. But even in that we are acting out of humility. Self-care for the sake of others is what we see Jesus doing as he prays alone on hillsides and goes to the mountain to meet with Moses and Elijah. Jesus knew full well that his strength while on this earth was finite. How do we tell the difference between self-care and selfishness? It all comes down to an overriding mentality one of scarcity or abundance? Do we believe that if we give up our seat on this boat that there will be another one? Or do we believe that we simply miss out? A scarcity mentality says “get yours now” because if you don’t take care of yourself no one else will. An abundance mentality says “make sure others get theirs first” because the God we serve can be trusted with our future.