Read Philippians 2:1-4.
"If you have any encouragement... if you have any comfort... if any fellowship... if any tenderness and compassion...then..."(italics mine.) Oh, YUCK. Man is this scary. What are the chances I will ever get it right? If Christ encourages me, if I fellowship with him, if he is tender and compassionate with me, then I will be the same with and for others.
If not, then obviously I am not unified with Christ receiving his encouragement, love, fellowship, tenderness, or compassion. If not, then I am obviously not one with him in purpose. If not, then I am working out of selfish ambition and conceit. If not, then I do not have the same love. And whose fault would that be? Boy, I don't like the direction this is going.
So let me see if I get this straight. I am supposed to practice humility. I am supposed to lay myself aside and think of others as better than myself. I am supposed to be concerned about their interests. So that fellow worker that has given me so much grief, I'm supposed to be concerned about the issues that are making her life difficult right now? That church leader that seems to have his own agenda, I'm supposed to be concerned about his interests rather than my own? That person, who lied about me and spread those rumors, I'm supposed to consider this person better than myself? That woman who hurt my child and caused so much harm, I'm supposed to humble myself before her. That person over there who doesn’t even speak English, I’m supposed to have fellowship with? That kid who isn’t a Christian, I’m supposed to encourage them to have contact with my children? That man over there who obviously has not had a bath, I’m supposed to show compassion? That follower of another religion that is obviously wrong, I’m supposed to show tenderness towards?
So in all of this where do I get to worry about myself? Well, it's there, in verse 4. I should look not only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others. It is just that the perspective changes when the ifs and thens surround that little phrase. It especially changes when you read the following verses and realize exactly what Paul is saying our attitude should be.
Got this one down pat, don't we?
Question: In what situation do you need an attitude check?