Preparation: Quiet yourself before God, using these words from Psalm 139: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Amen.
- Read Philippians 2:1-18.
- Divide a sheet of paper into two columns.
- In one column, write the instructions of what is indicated we should do.
- In the second column, write the negatives – what we should not do.
- Read verses 5-8.
- Focus your thoughts on verses 5-8, and the attitude of Christ pictured there. Read the verses several times, picking out the words and phrases that stand out for you. Close your eyes and imagine a picture of Christ as you see him through these words.
- Consider: What it is about yourself that you see as giving you value? When others look at you, and get to know you, what do you want them to see first? How do you hope they perceive you? Reflect on this image of yourself for a few moments.
- Now imagine giving up all of that in order to become poor and unknown. Try to get a sense of how hard that would be.
- Look back at verses 5-8. Write the thoughts and reflections that come to mind.
Oratio: Look back over the lists you wrote earlier. Ask God to show you the areas in your life that need more of these qualities. Confess where you fall short. Pray for wisdom and discernment in looking to the interests of others.
Contemplatio: As you consider the relationships of which you are a part, reflect on what a new attitude – the attitude of Christ – could bring to those relationships. Record in your journal your reflections as well as the questions and concerns that arise. If moved to do so, write some goals for specific situations.