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"Let This Mind Be in You." What Mind?

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"Let This Mind Be in You." What Mind?

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After 30 years of marriage I know my wife’s mind well. I know her ways, her attitudes, annoyances and desires. We talk a lot about what we do, where to go, sharing our desires, likes, dislikes and dreams. We didn’t start out that way. We began like most couples with unrealistic expectations engulfed in emotional attraction. I liked what I saw, and so did she. Sadly, sometimes people decide they actually don’t like their spouse because they didn’t take time to get to know them beforehand, so they part ways. So it’s wise to get to know the other person (count the cost, so to speak—Luke 14:28) before making a commitment that’s painful and difficult to undo.

The process of getting to know a life partner well is ground out over many years in incremental steps. It’s important to understand that it’s a process of melding and merging two different minds. The willingness to acknowledge wrongs, poor behaviors, mistakes and weaknesses helps ease and manage life’s ups and downs. Commitment to hammering out on the anvil of life’s experiences provides growth opportunities. This learning experience can lead to a deep, unique and rewarding relationship. The end result is a maturity that allows the other person’s uniqueness to be a guide to their actions and decisions, while at the same time, have a dependent relationship where you know the other’s mind.

Let This Mind Be In You

When we consider what Paul wrote: “Let this mind be in you”—we must of course read the context to understand what he was saying. The thought continues: “...who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery [something to be held onto or grasped at] to be equal with God” (Philippians 2:6). Jesus was willing to give up something as well as be obedient and submissive to His Father. He gave up the full glory of God to become a human. He willingly committed to being the sacrifice for all human sin.

Jesus knew what the plan was. He had confidence in the plan, and He agreed with it. Could we say that Jesus knew themind of His Father, and the Father knew His? I think so!

At the beginning of Philippians 2, Paul describes what it takes to make a good relationship with Jesus and His Father. The same conditions are needed for us to make a good relationship with the Father, Jesus and in marriage. Paul begins with “if.” Ifthere is any consolation in Christ, ifany comfort of love, ifany fellowship of the Spirit, ifany affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind (Philippians 2:1-2).

Note the words consolation, comfort, fellowship, affection and love. These attributes are in the emotional domain. If we are to acquire a good relationship in our marriage, with Jesus and His Father, we have to have the same mind and approach they had, which includes those emotions. By using the rhetorical device of “if,” Paul is urging the Church to have the mind of Christ, because of course it consists of all those things.

And in addition to the emotional connection, we’ve got to have an objective one also. Viewing the word “love” as a verb, it is action-based. It is what we do combined with what we emotionally feel. Paul illustrates that attitude and approach in verses 3-4:

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

How did Jesus demonstrate this mindset? He was willing to be obedient, to give up something He had and to become the sacrifice for sin. The purpose was to make it possible for humans to be in the family of God. In this course of action, Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death for our sakes. He had the choice, and He chose obedience to His Father. They were of one mind!

We humans have the choice to have the mind of Christ. That means we have to develop the actions and deeds of humility and obedience to the Father. In the model prayer, it says, “Our Father who are in heaven…Your will be doneon earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). In our lives, we have to be doing God’s will. That means we must give up our worldly ways of life and the attitudes that we’ve developed from living in our society. It means behaving according to God’s expressed will, such as the Ten Commandments. We tend to be greedy, self-centered, self-absorbed, dishonest and vain, looking out for ourselves and not so much for others. Loving our neighbor means looking out for their needs and treating them as we want to be treated (Leviticus 19:9-18; Matthew 7:12).

If we want to have the mind of Christ, we can read all about his actions in the four Gospels. If we want to see how the disciples behaved, the book of Acts demonstrates how they followed Jesus. There we can see demonstrated what it means to have the mind of Christ.

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  • Creative4aReason

    ROBBERY does not seem to mean "something to be grasped at". Robbery is taking away from something else. I don't understand this translation.

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