The Mind of Christ
A couple of scriptures have come together for me this week. One I’ve misinterpreted for years, and one I just heard again for the first time!
2 Timothy 1:7 says this:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (KJV)
My traditional understanding of this passage was that I didn’t have to worry about that test that was coming up at school, or that I might not understand all of what was going on in the sermon for the week. Very immature thoughts, if you ask me. But I never gave it a second thought, until I heard this:
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. ~Philippians 2:5 (NLT)~
Again, the KJV says it this way:
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
So, in other words, we are called to have the same mind-set that Jesus Christ had. A “sound mind” doesn’t equate to intelligence or confidence, it means we have the mind of Christ, and the mind of Christ is one of humility and servanthood, and, more importantly, one that is disciplined and is in tune with the Father.
As I battle through my daily struggle with sin, I sometimes get caught up in thinking that I’m being defeated. I feel as though the struggle is too much for me. I get depressed over what I’ve done wrong, thinking that there’s no hope for change. But as I reflect on these two passages, I realize that it all begins in the mind. Once I begin to let my human mind take over and reflect on my mistakes, then I begin to get depressed, I beat up on myself mentally and emotionally, and, finally, I begin to take those evil thoughts out on those I love the most. The second thing about it is this: if I let my human mind give in to the demons of depression, jealousy, and defeat, then Satan has the open door that he needs to start controlling my physical actions as well. When I dwell in the darkness of pity and woe, then I sink deeper and deeper in to the pit of physical sin. It’s not an easy place to climb out of, but it is possible. Why? Because we have been given the mind of Christ. We have the ability, and the directive, to think like Christ. So, how do I overcome sin? By thinking like Christ, getting my head screwed on straight, and realizing that if I can get my head in the game and be disciplined to being in tune with the Father, the rest of me will follow.
2 Timothy 1:7, once again, but from a new perspective:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT) emphasis mine
I know I’ve mentioned this same scripture over and over again, but it really has become my life verse:
You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. ~Mark 12:30 (NLT)~
How can I love God any more with my mind than to be in tune with him? To think like Christ? To let his Spirit be the guide? To be disciplined to His thoughts for me? How better can I increase my love for Him with my heart, soul, and strength than to get my head in the game and stop thinking like a human?