So here’s an idea as we move into the Thanksgiving holiday…
Paul’s short letter to the Philippian church underscored his belief that developing a “servanthood attitude” was critical for personal fulfillment and joy. He writes:
Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. PHILIPPIANS 2:5-7
Did you catch that word attitude? Attitude is simply our feeling about something. It’s our mental position about life, how we see it and react. Airplane pilots use the term attitude to describe the horizontal relationship their airplane has with the ground. Pilots have an attitude indicator that shows if the nose of the plane is up or down. In general, if the nose is up, the plane will soar upward; if the nose is down, you’ll eventually have a date with dirt. Attitude is critical in a plane—attitude affects altitude…how high you can soar. It’s the same thing for us humans.
Our attitude is the one thing in life we can change. Think about it: you really can’t change the way people might act, you can’t change your past, you can’t change the gifts you have or don’t have, you can’t change the circumstances that slime you. But attitude probably has more to do with the direction of your life than success or failure.
Paul’s attitude about life was formed not by his circumstances (he was in prison), not by his past (he had Christians put to death), not by his abilities (he said that people found him pretty unimpressive), not by moral credentials (he said that he was the worst of all sinners).
Paul wants the church in Philippi to understand that:
…God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him. PHILIPPIANS 2:13
In other words, God Himself is living inside of you to work out your life in such a way that it fulfills His goals for the universe. For Paul, servanthood was an unshackled lifestyle of purpose.
Our attitude shapes the way we think about serving others…and servanthood is the attitude critical for fulfillment. Leaders should periodically remind themselves of that truth and the liberating power of it.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
Dave Workman | The Elemental Group