“The Mind of Christ” can be simply defined as the ability to think, process thoughts and issues, and then act in the manner that Christ would expect you to.
To be able to do this, one must have not only a clear and deep understanding of who Christ is, but also what Christ’s will is for His followers. One must also have a personal relationship with Christ.The biblical words found in Philippians 2:1-5 concur with this simple definition of “the mind of Christ”, “Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. (NIV)
As Christians, we should therefore strive to be more like Christ by being loving, humble, obedient, patient and all else that is in line with what Christ would want and expect of us. The bottom line question should always be, “What would Christ do or say in this situation?”
The mind of Christ is extremely important for a Christian for several reasons.
• First, it enables one to understand and identify with Christ’s fundamental purpose and mission on earth which is seeking and saving the lost. With such understanding, one is then able to preach the gospel to others and to live as an example of what Christ expects of a Christian.
• Second, it enables one to practice and share Jesus’ perspective of humility, obedience, compassion and a prayerful dependence on God.
• Third, it enables one to live a Christ-led life, having the Christ given ability to “walk the talk”.
• And fourth, it enables one to learn how to live and pray in accordance to the will of God. As such, one no longer prays for selfish gain but learns to pray according to God’s will.
Ideal as it is to have “the mind of Christ”, there are several things that hinder us as Jesus’ disciples from having His mind.
• One hindrance to having the mind of Christ is selfishness: The tendency to do things for one’s selfish ambitions with mind centered around “Me, Myself & I”. That is why Philippians 2:3 warns us: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (NIV)
• Another hindrance is Self-Reliance or Lack of Faith: Depending on our own wisdom and understanding instead of depending and trusting God to lead and guide us.
• Yet another hindrance is Anger and bitterness: The natural inclination to fill our lives with anger and bitterness, especially when we get hurt. As we read in James 1:19-20, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”(NIV)
• And yet another hindrance is Pride. In James 4:6&10, we learn that: “ But he gives us more grace. That is why scripture says: God opposes the proud and shows favor to the humble”. Humble yourselves before the Lord, He will lift you up”. (NIV) As such, if we are to have the mind of Christ, we need to rid ourselves off all pride.
Just as there are many hindrances to having the mind of Christ, there also are numerous benefits.
• One of them is Peace: We read in Philippians 4:8-9: “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is admirable, – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And God of peace will be with you.” (NIV)
• Another benefit is the Fruit of the Spirit: This is stipulated in Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)
Thus, in thinking and practicing the right things, having a Christ like mind, we invite God of peace to come and dwell in us, bringing us peace beyond our own imagination and understanding and blessing us with the fruit of the Spirit.
However, having a Christ like mind is not an overnight process. It is a long and slow process that as Christians we learn day by day as we continue to trust God in all we do. Learning to commit every step of the way to him prayerfully.
In 1 John 2:3, we read that “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” (NIV)
May we prayerfully seek to walk not only with Jesus but also as Jesus did.
The writer is a Pinnacle of Praise Show Contributor, and lives in Boston, Massachusetts
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