"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5 NIV
I used to work with a coach who would encourage his boys frequently. He was great at bringing the best out in his little group. They weren't super talented but they accomplished a lot because of the way he lifted their spirits. During particularly tough times, he'd huddle them all together and say, "It's gut check time. This is where we really decide how bad you want it?"
Now, I don't know that this is exactly what Paul meant when he wrote these words but they had to mean something similar. You see, Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter. In fact, the first chapter of this book has been spent talking with the people of Philippi about his imprisonment and how it is being used to give other Christ followers the courage to stand and speak boldly about Jesus. Now, in chapter two, Paul turns his attention to his readers. He says, "Gut check time, guys. How bad do you really want it? How bad do you really want to be like Christ...to be humbled, to become a servant, to have your life measured out to be a sacrifice for others?"
This is no easy call this "Christ-following." But if you're going to do it, you better make sure you have the heart of the one you follow. What is your attitude when life stinks? When the doctor's report is bad? When your friends have shown their true colors? When your life is too busy, your world is too chaotic or your family is hurting? Do you truly have the mind of Christ? Or do you too easily slip back into the mentality of our culture to look out for number one?
That little team won way more games than they should have that year. They were gritty and tough. And when the season was over, they were able to look back at what they had accomplished and understand that attitude can make a world of difference when it comes how we "play the game"--whether the game is basketball or life.