When Jesus came into this world, He brought with Him a way of life that was totally upside-down and not what comes naturally to us. As I’ve been sitting in the truth of who God says I am this month, I came across Philippians 2:3, “…in humility value others above yourselves…”
It’s the perfect illustration of the upside-down Jesus way of life and provides a sharp contrast to our world today, where we’re bombarded with argument after argument convincing us how others are wrong. Social media algorithms and the constant flow of news stories lead us to be suspicious of each other instead of loving and trusting one another.
In any healthy organization or group, tensions and struggles are inevitable. When they strike, it’s important to work through them together. There’s something to be learned when we step back, listen, and learn from each other when tensions run deep. But again, that’s upside-down. Most of us, myself included, want to place blame elsewhere instead of looking in the mirror.
In Philippians, Paul writes to the church in hopes of safeguarding them against disunity. Philippians 2:1-4, in particular, has challenged me. Here’s The Message paraphrase…
“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care – then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”
Sifting through what it means to live confidently in who God says I am and embracing His upside-down way of life has reminded me that Jesus doesn’t expect me to live perfectly. He knows I can’t and has firsthand knowledge of what happens when I try. So, He does what only He can do…He gives grace for my less than perfect efforts and then teaches me His truth.
As John Mark Comer described it…our attempts to get it right are practice for the life we’ll live in eternity, when forgetting ourselves for the sake of someone else will come as naturally as a well-trained muscle. When we choose to live in this upside-down way, we’re working towards something much larger than ourselves.
So, what’s one simple way you can begin to practice this upside-down way of life today?
No matter where you are in life, you were made to grow. But sometimes that’s hard, especially if you struggle to see the value in your current stage. In this conversation with Jamie Ivey, Jo Saxton urges us to get to know ourselves better. Only then can we begin to appreciate and understand our unique purpose and gifts. Whatever’s on your agenda today, take this episode along. You’ll come away refreshed and ready to lean into what God is doing in your life right now.
As a newsletter subscriber, we wanted to let you in on a little secret…next month, we’ll be talking about prayer across our social media channels. To get you ready, we’re recommending The 28-Day Prayer Journey from Crystal Evans Hurst. Join us in working through this great daily resource in February. While it’s longer than the plans we usually recommend, it’s full of printable and does a great job encouraging you along the way.
There can be a learning curve to leading a mentoring group, especially when you’re just starting. Make engaging with other mentors an intentional part of your mentoring plan. It’s a great way to build community, learn from others, and find out some tried-and-true tips you can incorporate into your leadership style.
We’re planning to host monthly mentoring conversations to do just this. The first one is next Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Join us and our friend Maresa from The Church at LifePark to get an overview of the Known Collective mentoring process.
Hosting your mentoring group doesn’t need to involve cooking an entire meal. A cup of coffee or a simple dessert is all you need to get the conversation going. The next time you host your mentees, try this delicious orange cake. It’s effortless to make and sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Create safe environments where women can bring life's deepest questions.
Known Collective provides everything you need to implement a mentoring process to help women leave comparison at the door and enter a space where they can be real and engage in conversations that matter.