I’d Take a Bullet for You
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped . . . he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8
A few years ago, I was leading a Bible Study at a local men’s sober housing facility, when I began to explain how I’d do anything for my family. I said I’d even give my life for my them. Somehow the phrase, “I’d take a bullet for them” came up. One of the guys asked if I’d take a bullet for him and flippantly, I told him that yes, I would. Almost immediately, another of the guys in the group objected, pointing out how absurd I was being. He said I’d never been shot at and he called out my ridiculous bravado. It was a stupid thing to say, and I regretted it immediately.
He was right. I wouldn’t risk life and limb for just anyone. In fact, as much as I care about my family, I’ve never been asked to be shot for them, so, in the heat of the moment, I have no idea how I’d respond.
Thankfully, most of us won’t be asked to die for our loved ones. Such a question though, is a little dramatic. A much better question would be not, “Would you die for your loved ones?” but rather, “Would you live for them, sacrificing your pursuits for theirs?” A lot of us think that we’d be willing to die for our spouses and children, but they’ll probably never need us to do that. They do need us however, to live for them, to stop being so selfish, and to seek their interests above our own.
In today’s passage, Paul exhorted his audience to have the mind of Christ in their interactions with each other. Just as Jesus lived his life in service to others and eventually died for them, we too are supposed to love those around us in such a manner.
Again, we’re not likely to be asked to die for anyone, but Paul’s command isn’t necessarily about dying, but rather living for others, and it goes far beyond just our family. If we follow Christ, we’re supposed to love others as he did. We may not be called on to die for anyone, but we must ask ourselves if we’re willing to live for them, sacrificing our own way for the good of our families, friends, and neighbors. We may not like the idea of self-sacrifice, but that is what it means to follow Christ.