Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. Philippians 2:5-6
I’m often surprised by people in society who “grasp” at the tiniest bit of power, influence or control because it makes them feel important. For example, people who cling to official positions in social groups, like sporting clubs and service organizations, purely for the sense of worth it gives them. It happens in churches, too. Whereas Jesus didn’t “grasp” onto anything, not even real power—equality with God—because Jesus didn’t need recognition from people to feel significant.
The next verse tells us, he “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (2:7). We also see this when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. The incident begins this way, “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God so … he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet” (John 13:3, 5).
It was because Jesus was so secure in the knowledge of who he was, where he had come from and where he was going that he could lay aside his status and serve others from a heart free from manipulation, without expecting anything from them—not even appreciation.
If we want to be like Jesus and serve the way he did, our relationship with God must grow to the point that we feel a sense of security in God. We know we are significant because we are his children, know he values us for who we are not what we do, and know we are greatly loved. Then we can serve from a heart of love free from manipulation.