Thursday, January 5

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 2:5

Here is an instance of how differences in translation/interpretation can affect the reading of a text.  The calendar, which is using the NIV, says “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 2:5-7 of the NKJV read “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.”  In this translation, the mindset that is being urged seems, to me at least, to be referring to having humility: for it seems to me to require humility to be willing to go from being God’s equal in Heaven to being a human being here on Earth.  I can’t imagine someone who was proud, self-absorbed and preoccupied with their important status making such a sacrifice.

There must also have been love involved; a great deal of love, enough to sacrifice not just an exalted position in Heaven but to endure deprivation, humiliation, torture, and ultimately death, not for any personal gain, but for the benefit of others.

This is the mindset that we are to have, no matter which translation you use.  If we are urged to have the mind of Christ, and this is the mind that He has, then whatever context you look at it in, the conclusion remains the same: this is how we are to think, how we are to view the world.  We are not to exalt ourselves above others, but to be humble, to seek the benefit of others ahead of our own, to be willing to sacrifice for others, even our very lives if need be: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

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