Paul told the Philippian congregation to develop the attitude toward each other that Jesus had toward God (Philippians 2:5-11). This was practical guidance given to a good congregation that needed to adjust some basic attitudes. Though they loved Christ and Paul (1:9), they inadequately loved each other. Selfishness, or conceit, or a sense of self-importance characterized many of them (2:2, 3). Two fine Christian women were in serious conflict. Each had provided Paul invaluable assistance "in the cause of the gospel" (4:2, 3). However, they failed to translate love for Christ into respect for each other.

Their relationship problems were rooted in attitudes. The problems would be addressed productively if this happened: they identified, understood, and adopted the mind of Jesus Christ. Having the "mind of Christ" is the key to making godly mental and emotional adjustments. Two events in Jesus' life must be understood if His "mind" is to reform our minds and impact our relationships. The first: his mind-set before entering this world. The second: his mind-set as he faced and experienced the cross.

Preoccupation with blame and fault is a major curse. We are too easily consumed with a passion to assign fault and affix blame. In Jesus' willingness to be born and to die, the blameless Jesus was unconcerned about assigning fault or affixing blame.

Consider his crucifixion. Who was to blame? Who was at fault? Judas the betrayer? Peter the denier? The twelve who fled? The religious leaders who condemned Him? The multitudes who screamed for His death? Pilate who refused to release Him? The soldiers who mocked, scourged, and executed Him? Adam and Eve who first rebelled? Humanity--because we all rebel and fail? Blame was unimportant, fault irrelevant. Evil had conquered everyone. God must satisfy divine justice to freely extend divine grace and unconditional forgiveness. Only Jesus' death could produce atonement and redemption. Jesus focused on that objective. Concern about fault and blame was a dangerous distraction. So the dying Jesus refused to consider the gross injustices surrounding His death. He placed those in God's hands (1 Peter 2:21-24).

Unconcerned about fault or blame, he said, "Father, forgive them; they do not understand what they are doing." God, when we are victimized by our passion to assign fault or affix blame, forgive us. Help us be enveloped by the mind of Jesus Christ.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 15 December 1996

 Link to next article

 Link to other Writings of David Chadwell