Years ago when our children were fairly young, my husband brought home a recording of the songs that were sung at the Christian men’s retreat he had just attended. I loved it! (That recording became a favorite for a number of weeks within our music-loving family.) Anything that taught truths of Scripture for our children to hide in their hearts was right up my alley. One of those songs was Make Me a Servant by Kelly Willard. Written as a prayer, the lyrics ask God to make us a servant who is humble and meek, lifting up those who are weak. I believe that really needs to be the attitude of every “For Lifer.”
Taking up the call to be life affirming, many of us assume some kind of leadership position such as a member, officer, or leader, of a Life Team or LFL chapter, as well as a Life Ministry Coordinator or Life Advocate, or a member of the human care committee in one’s church—and even a participant in a community pro-life group. Many times these positions bring with them some kind of resistance, either from pastors, individual church members, church councils, entire congregations, and maybe even family and friends. If you are like me, you may ask, “How can I deal with this resistance?”
God’s Word teaches us this: “Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality. Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8 GOD’S WORD).
Let’s examine this verse closely in layman’s terms, by looking at attitude. According to Webster’s Dictionary, attitude is a posture, position, or state of thought or feeling. We often hear or see the phrase “attitude is everything.” As much as we may not like it, our actions, words, and thoughts often reflect our attitude toward a subject, person, or situation. But, we are to take on the posture, position, thought, or feeling of Christ. How do we do that?
Jesus Christ showed us through His life. Verse six states it this way: “Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality.” (GOD’S WORD). Jesus was God, having the “status and privileges that follow from being in very nature God” (Concordia Self-Study Bible). But, He voluntarily laid aside His mighty power and glory and “[H]e emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant” (GOD’S WORD). Jesus, God, became one of us, a human being with flesh and blood and all our likenesses and feelings—hunger, thirst, heat, cold, fatigue, anger, frustration, pain—to become our servant!
The word “servant” comes from the Greek doulos which means “subjection without the idea of bondage … the perfect example being Christ himself.” Subjection is obedience, submission, or yielding to (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Inc.).
Anyone can act as a servant, being obedient and submitting, but Christ gave us the example of a “humble” servant. “[H]e emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant … He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross.” (GOD’S WORD). There are numerous examples of Christ’s humility in Scripture, but none surpass that of death on a criminal’s cross, our cross. The cross that should have been yours and mine!
What an example! In taking on the posture, position, thought, or feeling of Christ, I, as a follower of Christ, must empty myself, let go of, or surrender all the titles and hats that this carnal life offers. I must yield to God’s will to become His humble servant to His people for whom He humbly laid down His might, power, glory, and life.
Through the power of prayer and the understanding of Christ’s attitude, we can be better equipped to face and overcome the resistance we may encounter. We can offer a servant’s humble service to the resistance.
Is someone resistant to the life-affirming message as you have presented it? Perhaps it’s the attitude they sense when they have been approached. I have found that when my attitude is more reflective of Christ, my message is much better received and I can do my job of lifting up those who are weak. So I pray, Lord, make me a servant who is humble and meek that I might lift up those who are weak. Amen.