Now all of this is background for a thought I had yesterday. We were sharing the Lord's Supper, and I thought about relationships and the self-examination we are suppose to do during the Supper. I thought of Paul's comment about how he no longer lived, but Christ was the one living in him (Galatians 2:20). He was basically saying that everything in his life was now seen through the filter of Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:16-17 says essentially the same thing!). Everything that happened to him, every relationship he had and every hardship and blessing he experienced, was filtered through Jesus. Every wrong that was done to him, every cruel word or action was filtered through the screen of Jesus.
What really struck me about these few wandering thoughts of mine was this: what a completely different life we can have if we filter everything through Jesus! When we remember his sacrifice, his pain, his suffering, his love and apply those to the happenings and relationships in our own lives, then our world will take on a different appearance. Our relationships will take on a different feel and closeness because our feelings and words first pass through the filter of Jesus.
Paul is writing from experience when he encourages folks in Philippi with these words: "Have this among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus ...." (Philippians 2:5 RSV). He had done that personally. He understood what it meant to look at things through the mind and eyes of Christ. He was willing to give up his own self-interest, his own rights, and his very own life. He was honest when he said, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
I have to admit that I am still struggling with doing that all the time, because there are times when I don't want to give up my rights to judge, feel hurt, and retaliate. Paul's words are a good reminder to me! How about you?