What do you think Paul meant when he wrote to the Corinthians that they had the “mind of Christ”? (See I Corinthians 2:16)
Was he complimenting them for the perfect job they had done as a church? Hardly. The rest of his first letter to the Corinthians if full of admonitions and rebukes as well as guidance and support.
The implication was, “Okay guys, we have the mind of Christ, but you have to use it in everything you think and say and do.”
I talked a little about what it means to have the mind of Christ in a previous blog post, Praying with the Mindset of Christ.
Since then, I’ve been thinking more and more about what it actually means to have the mind of Christ. How can we use this mind? How can we think and act more like Christ?
Paul says we. It’s not a personal possession. It’s a collective awareness God gives to all who accept Christ, not just in word but in spirit. It’s not just that each of us can have the mind of Christ. Think what would happen in your life, in your church and community, and in the whole world, if all Christians were collectively and exclusively using only the mind of Christ in everything they thought, spoke, and did.
Things would change immediately.
But I’ll repeat, it’s not enough just to know that we have this mind, we have to use it. We must submit to it. We have to give up our personal agenda and preconceptions of how things have to work out. We have to trust God more and ourselves less. And we have to follow Jesus’ example.
So, I thought I’d share with you a sort of bullet list of things I’ve been thinking of recently as to the way Jesus thought. They aren’t in any particular order.
As you go through this list, think about how you could have the same attitudes and mindset that Jesus did. How can you apply these ideas in your own life? In short, how can you be more like Jesus?
The Jesus mindset
Here are some of the attitudes and ways of thinking that Jesus embodied. How many of them are you doing?
If you think of others to add to the list, let me know.
- “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
- “The kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21
- “I can of mine own self do nothing.” John 5:30
- He submitted to God’s will. “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” John 5:30
- “Not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42
- Jesus always looked for receptive hearts to share his message with, whether they were Pharisees, social and religious outcasts, or even foreigners, whom Jews were not even supposed to talk to
- He “loved righteousness, and hated iniquity.” Hebrews 1:9
- He rebuked evil and especially hypocrisy
- He was merciful to sinners
- He didn’t take the bait of critics and naysayers
- He was silent in the face of evil’s attempts to destroy him. He didn’t react or try to defend himself
- He knew God always heard his prayers. John 11: 41, 42
- He knew his relationship to the Father. John 10:30
- He was “moved with compassion” when he saw the multitudes as sheep without a shepherd. Mark 6:34
- He acted with divine authority and power instead of his own personal abilities. “For I have not spoken of myself.” John 12:49
- He only said what God told him to: “the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” John 12:49
- He did not leave his followers without help when he was no longer with them. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26
- He practiced what he preached
- He got up early to pray, and sometimes prayed all night. Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12
- He looked beyond the outward appearance of things all the way back to the original innocence and purity of man. He was not intimidated when someone was diseased, sinning, or even dead. John 9:3; John 11
- He saw the big picture and looked way down the future. He prayed not just for his immediate disciples but for all who would ever believe on him through their preaching. John 17:20
- He rarely answered a direct question. He listened for the question behind the question
- He spoke in parables and metaphors so people could begin to understand what he was really trying to say to them
- He walked the extra mile with his listeners and disciples and was patient with them
- It’s not that he dumbed-down his message, but he broke the Bread of Truth into bite sized pieces so people could accept it, chew on, and digest it
- He knew the Scriptures, preached, and taught them
- AND he loved little children, “for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 9:14
I’m sure there’s more to add, but that’s what’s come to me right now. Will you join me in making a sincere effort to imbibe the mind and spirit of Christ in all you think, say, and do?
First, look at this list and give yourself credit for what you are already doing, even it seems very minor. Then pick out one or two areas where you feel you can make an honest effort to be more Christly minded.
And I’d love to hear how it goes.
P.S. Do you know anyone who might enjoy this post? Please share it with them.