This week is the final installment on how to live with less conflict in your life. I hope you found the series helpful. Here is the fifth strategy:
5. DEVELOP CHRIST-LIKENESS
v. 5 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ.”
Jesus was a master at relationships. He is our model and great example. If you want to know how to get along with people, even those who are hard to get along with, look at Jesus. Get the same attitude that He had.
What was his attitude?
v. 6 – “Who being in the very nature of God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.” He didn’t demand His rights. The person who yields his rights to God, gets God as defender of his rights. Who do you want defending you, yourself or God? Who can do a better job of it? He didn’t defend His rights but He willingly gave them up.”
v. 7 – “But made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness.” He had a serving attitude. How do you know if you have a serving attitude? How do you respond when people treat you like a servant?
v. 8 – “And being found in appearance as a man He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on the cross.” He was willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others.
It’s impossible to live a lifestyle of total unselfishness on your own. It is human nature to be selfish, to think only of me. We all have that nature to do what we want to do. I cannot live totally unselfishly with my wife or my kids or the people I work with, etc. I can’t do it by myself.
Here is my prayer for you, “Let this attitude be in you that was in Christ.”
The fifth cause of conflict is living without Christ. Unity is a gift of the spirit. Ephesians 4:3 “Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives, by the peace that binds you together.” The Spirit puts unity in our lives and families. In order for you to get along with other people you must grow more and more like Jesus Christ. It’s not imitation but habitation. Every day when I consciously choose to put somebody else’s rights before my own, to serve another, to build people up instead of tearing them down, to sacrifice for the benefit of others I am becoming more like Jesus Christ. And that is the secret of lasting joy. As long as you are asking “What’s going to make me happy?” you’re never going to be happy. You’ve got to get a purpose bigger than yourself to live for. The problem with a self-made man is that he usually worships his maker. And that’s a small god.
You bring peace in your world when the Prince of Peace inhabits your heart.
Starting next week we will start looking at how our Christian life matches up with our irrational, but predictable, behaviors.