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Thursday, May 29, 2014
Daily Devotional - The Condition of Our Minds
But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. —1 Corinthians 2:16 (b)
I reached the curb in front of the airport, where my friend would pick me up. I was calm and relaxed and thought of the great conversation we would have. To my surprise, she wasn’t there yet. That was odd because she’s the kind of person who is never late for anything. I remained calm and peaceful. I spotted what I thought was her car and took a step forward, but the car went past me, and there was a stranger in it.
Not more than three minutes had passed, but I realized I was anxious and worried. What had happened to her? Had she been in an accident? Did she forget me? From calmness to anxiety in less than three minutes, and nothing had changed—nothing except my mind. Worried thoughts struggled inside me.
I pulled out my cell phone and started to dial, when I heard a car honking, as she pulled up to the curb. My mind shifted once again to calmness, even joyfulness. How quickly my emotions had shifted in that short period of time.
My mind had quickly changed when my circumstances did. Sometimes I find it easy to hear God speak . . . and to believe without any difficulty. Yet at other times, worry and anxiety push their way into my mind. The Bible says we are to walk by faith and not by sight, but that day at the airport, I was definitely being led by what I saw. When we worry, we are not walking in faith and trusting God.
For a long period of my life, I had a critical, suspicious, and judgmental mind. That may seem normal for many nonbelievers, but I was a Christian. I was going along with the same thinking and mindset that I had known for years. It was normal to me—it was just the way I was. For years, I had no awareness that my wrong thinking was causing any problems.
Because no one had taught me, I didn’t know I could do anything to change my thought life. It simply had not occurred to me. No one had taught me about the proper condition for the believer’s mind. God offers us a new way to think and a new way to live.
God has called us to renew our minds (see Romans 12:2). For most of us, it is an ongoing process. We don’t control our thinking all at one time.
One day I read 1 Corinthians 2:16, where Paul says we have the mind of Christ. What could he have meant? I pondered that verse for days. I concluded that for us to have the mind of Christ doesn’t mean we’re sinless or perfect. It does mean we begin to think the way Christ thinks. If we have His mind, we think on those things that are good and honorable and loving.
I confessed to God how many times my mind had focused on the ugly, the mean, and the harsh.
In 1 Corinthians 2:14, Paul wrote, “But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him . . . because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. . . .” Yes, I thought, that’s exactly how it works. The natural mind—even that of the Christians whose minds are tampered with by Satan—doesn’t grasp what God is doing. Those things seem foolish.
We must remind ourselves that we have Christ’s mind—we have the ability to think loving and caring thoughts. We can defeat Satan’s attacks.
Holy God, I want to live with the mind of Christ. I ask You to enable me to think positive, loving, caring thoughts about myself and about others. Help me to see and think on the good things in life and not the bad. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen. .