Look at the word mind, and write words that describe the mind of Christ.
- M (Psalm 8:1; 103:8; Matthew 11:29) – “Majestic, Merciful, Meek/Mild”
- I (Luke 23:4; Titus 2:7) – “Innocent, Integrity”
- N (Philippians 4:8; Revelation 19:16; Psalm 34:18) – “Noble, Name (?), Near (?)”
- D (2 Timothy 1:7; 2:15) – “Disciplined, Discerning”
How does lacking that mind-of-Christ quality cause you to struggle with ‘stinking thinking’?
- Because I lack “majesty” I struggle with “the worldly mundane”
- Because I lack “innocence” I struggle with “dark and course thoughts”
- Because I lack “discipline” I struggle with “wandering thoughts”
We are not to be “conformed” to this world, but “transformed” by the renewing of our “minds”. (Romans 12:2)
- When the world tells you to make your violators pay, the mind of Christ thinks (Ephesians 4:32; Luke 17:3-4): “forgive”
- When the world suggests you look out for number one, the mind of Christ thinks (Colossians 3:12): “put others first”
- When the world advises you to get all you can, the mind of Christ thinks (Matthew 5:41-42): “share with others”
- When the world tells you “just do it”, the mind of Christ thinks (2 Peter 1:5-8): “consider it carefully”
- When the world says you can pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, the mind of Christ thinks (Philippians 2:13): “God does it through me.”
- When the world persuades “it’s all about you”, the mind of Christ thinks (1 Corinthians 6:20; Revelation 4:11): “I belong to God.”
What do Matthew 15:1-9 and 21:33-46 say about Pharisees?
“They were hypocrites who put the teaching of men above the word of God.”
How did Jesus describe Pharisees (Matthew 23:3-6)?
“They don’t practice what they preach”
Do either of the pictures [that Jesus used to describe the Pharisees] remind you of your thought closet? “yes” Why?
“I put on my social mask with my nice clothes and walk the line between hypocrisy and ‘faking it ’til I make it.’”
Dearest Rachel –
In all honesty, honey, there’s a lot in your response that I don’t recognize, or don’t see a problem with – the latter of which is most likely a “me” problem.
I get the fact that the mundane, workaday world crowds out thoughts of the majesty and awesome nature of God and His creation; I dare say we all are far too busy with our own daily concerns to pay attention to him for the most part. Similarly, the idea of ‘wandering thoughts’ makes perfect sense, as it seems like all of humanity – or at least, all of Western humanity – has developed ADD, thanks to modern technology. There is far too much to distract us from what is truly important, and I speak as a distracted mind, myself.
But ‘course thoughts’? Really? Maybe I don’t know how you define that, or wasn’t paying attention, or have forgotten what you could be like, or was (and am) every bit a bad on this front as you ever were, but I don’t picture you this way. Are we talking about things like, for example, enjoying a game of Cards Against Humanity? Or, when you speak of putting on your ‘nice clothes,’ are you thinking about the things we would’ve done together earlier that same morning, and how that would contrast with our attempts to act ‘holy’ while in church? I’ll admit to being aware of that contrast from time to time, myself; however, I always tended to rationalize it by assuming that He sanctified our relationship, and therefore what we did within it as a couple was equally blessed, as absurd as it might seem to each of us from time to time, especially based on prohibitions given to us about that kind of behavior before such a relationship came to be. But it’s not like I can ask you what you were referring to, and even if I could, I wonder if you could remember; this was, after all, nearly ten years ago when you wrote this down.
Still, I think we all suffer from a Christian variant of ‘imposter syndrome’; we all know deep down what sinners we are, and I think we all are aware of times when we do not ‘feel’ saved. And with that in mind, there are times when, even as we serve Him and His church, we feel like we are, as you put it, ‘faking it until we make it’. We are, in essence, the younger son who doesn’t want to work in the vineyard, but after considering it, decides to go and work anyway. It may be true that the Father is concerned with where our heart is, but if we do what He asks us to, whether our heart is in it or not, we are, in the final analysis, doing what He wants of us, and that pleases Him more than the son who makes heartfelt promises and proceeds to not follow through.
It’s the same commitment to action that love requires, in both earthly and heavenly relationships. Sometimes, you’re not feeling it, but you do what needs to be done anyway. And that, in its own way, is what love truly is – more than a feeling, to quote the old song, but rather, a resolution to doing what the other one needs or wants of us, regardless of whether we may feel like it at the moment.
But maybe I’m misinterpreting what you’re referring to; still, this is my best guess, and without you here to correct me, this is how I look at it (and you). It may well be that I’m absolving you of some true hypocrisy that you carried with you, inside yourself, that even I never saw or noticed. It may even be that I suffer from the same hypocrisy, with the result being that I don’t see yours anymore than I do mine – in which case, God forgive me.
Thankfully, I know He does, and will.