Mindset 101 for the Christ-follower
The “ mind games” we play
Being a Christ-follower is a mind game. We talk about having the right mindset or getting mentally tough. We take great pains to clear our minds of extraneous thoughts and we use techniques to keep us focused on our goals.
For we Christ-followers, it all begins with the mind. Unless we start with that, everything else doesn’t matter. What does our “mind game” look like?
Our "mind game" is when our minds are centered upon Christ.
The “mind game” of the Christ-followers
To better understand this, let’s look at Romans 12:1-2 Here are those verses in the ESV:
I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable, and perfect.
Offering a living sacrifice
The word “therefore” in this passage is key. It links what Paul talks in this passage with the last few verses in the previous chapter (Romans 11:33-36). In those verses, Paul bursts out in praise to God for the richness of his wisdom and knowledge, his omnipotence and omniscience. Paul then recalls God’s inscrutable ways by quoting Isaiah and Job. Paul closes that chapter by acknowledging God’s sovereignty and finishes with even more praise.
So what Paul is saying then with his “therefore” is because of all that God is and all that he’s done, it is natural to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. These words “. . . sacrifice, holy and acceptable” echo the nature of the blood sacrifices the Jews were commanded to offer: they were to be spotless. We can do this because we, as Christ-followers, are covered by the spotless Lamb, Jesus, by his pure blood sacrifice on the cross. Jesus paid the price on the cross; we are now no longer our own.
Give away the keys
By humbly offering ourselves to God as that living sacrifice, by relinquishing our ownership and giving ourselves over to God, we become slaves. But in our slavery, we are actually free. In our weakness, strong. By doing so we reclaim our true identity, able to fulfill our life purpose of worshiping God and executing our mission from him in this world.
The renewed mind
Right after Paul exhorts the believers to offer themselves as living sacrifices, he next says:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable, and perfect.
This renewing of the mind transforms us. The word rendered “transform” in the Greek here is the same root for our word “metamorphosis” So when the believer has a renewed mind, his/her outside appearance can show that change. This renewed mind is saturated and controlled by the Word of God and it can only happen by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ways to have the renewed mind
Here are ways you can have that renewed mind:
- Have a daily devotional time where you also read and study the Scriptures
- Attend worship consistently.
- Take sermon notes in a notebook dedicated for that purpose.
- Keep a prayer journal
- Get involved with a small group within your church to live in community and study the Scriptures
- Listen to podcasts of sermons, Bible studies, from preachers and teachers who also hold the Bible is God’s inerrant, Spirit-breathed, inspired Word of God. (This is a productive way to use spare time, like when standing in line or driving to your destination.)
- Listen to Scripturally-solid Christian music, especially as you go about your day, performing your tasks
- Take time throughout the day to recognize God’s handiwork in nature and praise Him for it.
By having this renewed mind, Paul tells us we can discern the will of God, we can discern what is good, acceptable and perfect. We can begin getting with His program. We can integrate our faith with all aspects of our lives, so we live and work as the warriors of Christ we were created to be.
Now, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I encourage you to seek a renewed mind, by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the foundational mindset for the Christ-life.
Like what you've read? If so, there's I've got more for you-- like video Bible studies, a monthly live chat with me where you can "ask me anything" and additional original content designed to encourage and equip you as a warrior for Christ. To learn more, go to Abundance Place Memberships.
Copyright 2022 Sandra A. Eggers. Sharing is encouraged; however, please give credit where credit is due. Thank you.