Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Philippians 2:1-5
Last week I spent some time with my marriage connect group, talking about honoring our spouses. It was a very lively discussion as it always is with this great group of people. My friend Judy brought up the point of what happens when we lose that shiny. Meaning when we first are married we have a sunshine and blue skies attitude that gets lost in the shuffle of life. She went on to say that when we lose our shiny we have to go back and do some polishing. I loved the analogy and thought it would make an interesting discussion for this week’s blog. Instead of marriage, I want to talk about keeping up our shiney with God.
The above verses in Philippians is chock full of wisdom on how to keep our shiny. Paul asks three questions. Do we get encouraged, comfort, fellowship, and compassion when we are in Christ. We should, shouldn’t we? How come we lose our shiny, why is our attitude bad sometimes? The first reason is we disagree with each other. There is nothing that can bring a ministry to a sudden halt, than when we have uncompromising disagreement. Pride always comes before a fall and I have seen as well have heard of churches splitting over crazy stuff like which side of the stage should the Christian flag be displayed. If we are loving each other deeply as God wants us to we will be more creative and compromising when dealing with issues and issues will happen, but how we respond to them depends on keeping a good attitude.
Selfishness is the next obstacle to keeping our shiny. When we are thinking of our agenda and not God’s agenda, we set ourselves up for burn out city. Pride once again rears it’s ugly head and we are figuring out ways to make ourselves look good, not God or others. The interesting part is we look better when we do God’s will, purpose, and give Him the glory than when we are trying to look good on our own. Jesus’ humble attitude is what made Him so attractive to so many followers. Even though He is the creator of the universe, He never once looked down at anyone.
The final obstacle is keeping to ourselves, or looking to our own interests. We should take care of ourselves and make sure we are healthy, wealthy, and wise of course. But, God made us social people and we need others to help us with this life. There is an element of risk involved in relationships with friends, but the reward is priceless when we find a great core of friends that we can be real with no matter what. Pride is saying I don’t need anyone but myself. Shame is saying I can’t share with anyone because what happens if they figure me out? Both can be reclusive attitudes that can keep us from great relationships. Stepping out in faith and trusting God, not ourselves and not fearing what people will think can find us some awesome godly friends.
When we allow bad attitudes to cloud our good attitude, we lose the shiny attitude that God wants us to have. We have a better relationship with God when we add people in the mix that we can love and rely on. Pride, selfishness and shame can keep a cloudy attitude and make our lives miserable. Love, selflessness and opening ourselves to others makes life rich, exciting and puts us on the path that God wants us to be walking and keeps our shiny shining bright.
[David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.