Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love ... (Ephesians 4:1-2)

The world we live in is constantly attacking us. No matter what front of life we examine, there is stress—not “run-of-the-mill” inconvenience, but hard, gut-wrenching, attacking self-worth stress! Whether it is maintaining relationships, keeping the “roof over our head,” having a job, producing a lifestyle, or struggling to “keep it together,” it often seems there are more problems than there are answers.

In an attacking existence, we are prone to be distrustful, resentful, and filled with self-pity. If we react to the stresses in our lives by going in these directions, we become very “me” centered, very self-centered in our considerations. The more “me” centered we become, the less Christ-centered we are. The less Christ-centered we are, the less people-centered we are. We grow more into “existence” than into “helping.” The end result: we do not attract those who are interested in Jesus because we are more concerned about “us” than we are concerned about representing Jesus.

People who represent Jesus are known for humility, gentleness, patience, and tolerance. “But these are not the days for humility, gentleness, patience, and tolerance!” Correct--or so it seems. Neither were Jesus’ death and resurrection a time for humility, gentleness, patience, and tolerance. However, His attitudes prevailed and still exist 2000 years later!

Christians do not do things because what they do is a “fix.” They do what represents Jesus’ objectives—fix it or not! Christians do good because it is the righteous, godly thing to do, not because of the time’s influence or the stresses endured.

Christians are committed to Christ’s mind. The humble mind is Jesus Christ’s mind. The humble mind endures both good times and bad. The prideful mind becomes increasingly selfish, resentful, and “turf” centered.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7)

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 19 March 2009

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