5 May the God of endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude toward each other, similar to Christ Jesus’ attitude.
What a beautiful blessing Paul is praying over the people of the divided church in Rome. In the midst of all the quarrels in this early church, Paul reminds the Romans that they should be seeking unity and not division over differences of interpretation. The way to unity comes by seeking to have the same attitude, to be ‘like minded’ toward each other by following the example of Jesus.
There’s a quote attributed to Winston Churchill that says, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” We usually think of people as having a good or bad attitudes, (of course we don’t have the bad attitudes.) We believe people choose their attitudes. We associate a positive attitude with a successful life, whether in business, sports, or personal relationships. We define attitude as a way of thinking and feeling, that is reflected in our daily behavior. But what Paul is talking about is a more radical concept, he is talking about the total transformation of our attitudes, and not for personal gain. Paul is saying that we are to have an attitude that cares more for others, an attitude that unifies us with common purpose, to be like the attitude of Jesus.
What type of attitude did Jesus have towards others? Jesus was loving and compassionate, he came to serve, not to be served. This is not the way the world operates, and it’s why it’s not possible for us to change our attitudes on our own. Caring about others instead of ourselves doesn’t come naturally to us, we’re hard wired to protect our own interests at the expense of others, so we need to mind our attitudes.
The transforming of our mind is given to us as children of God, who is our source of patience and endurance. This ongoing work of transformation happens through the Holy Spirit, and it takes a life time to conform us to the attitude of Jesus. As we become more loving, patient and compassionate, as we become more caring for each other, we become more “like minded” and patient with each other. This unity of purpose in Christ brings about peace as we serve in God’s Kin(g)-dom for the transformation of the world.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
God has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit who guides us to shape our attitudes to become more like Jesus. We can yield to the transformation of the Spirit by praying for patience and endurance to persevere as we grow to learn to serve others. Today, in a challenging situation, look for the Spirit’s guidance to help you to have compassion and patience to be able to serve others.
Prayer: Holy God, I need your ever present help to change my attitude to be like Jesus. Give me awareness in those moments when I am pushing to be served, instead of serving others. Bless us with patience and encourage us when we fail. Amen.