Selflessness: the Mindset of Christ
by Laura Bailey
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:5-8 NIV
I have a friend who is one of seven children. Seven! When she told me how many siblings she had, the first question out of my mouth was, “Did your mom ever have a moment to herself?” Laughing, she replied, “My mom is the most selfless woman I know.”
I started thinking . . . of all the words that my family and friends might use to describe me, would “selfless” be one of them? Probably not. Okay, absolutely not. I consider terms like “hard-working, dependable,” and “driven” to be very positive characteristics I have always admired in others and strived to be myself. Until recently, I can honestly say that being described as “selfless” has never crossed my mind. As I continued to ponder this, The Holy Spirit convicted me -- the characteristics I wanted to embody were all about ME, not about others.
The Bible is filled with countless examples of selflessness. Perhaps you recall God sacrificing His only Son to die for sinners, for starters. I often forget how undeserving I am to receive God’s gift of eternal life, that the best me merits nothing but eternal separation from the Lord of Heaven and Earth. In Philippians, the apostle Paul tells us to interact with others with the mindset of Christ. Talk about selflessness -- Jesus had the ultimate servant’s heart. Imagine how different the world would be if we all had the mind of Christ.
Developing a servant’s heart takes consistent practice and devotion. It requires reading God’s Word daily and communicating with God in prayer continually so the Holy Spirit will convict and cleanse our selfish, sinful nature. The Lord commands us to demonstrate unconditional love without expecting anything in return, to love others as we love ourselves.
Many of us may never directly experience leading a person to Christ; however, our words and deeds can serve as powerful testimonies that point a lost world to the cross. In a sinful, selfish world, putting others before ourselves may be the only means by which those who are lost and perishing witness the love of Christ and grace of God.
It would bring me great joy to know that one day my children will say that their mother is the most selfless person they know, which isn't true of me now. Nonetheless, it is never too late for me to make changes that will most definitely require more work and personal sacrifice, and through the strength of Christ, I intend to do so and challenge you to consider the same.
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your sinless son so that I, a sinner, could have complete redemption through His death and resurrection. Help me have a Christ-like mindset in all that I say and do, learning to die to myself daily, choosing to let the Holy Spirit lead me. Please guide me to choose serving others over selfish gain. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Laura Bailey is a Bible teacher who challenges and encourages women to dive deep in the Scriptures, shift from an earthly to an eternal mindset, and filter life through the lens of God’s Word. She is a wife and momma to three young girls. She is the author of Beyond the Noise: Silencing the Deceiver in Loud World of Lies and blogs atwww.LauraRBailey.com. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram @LauraBaileyWrites