Our minds are developed by the world and the way we live. The world lives separated from God. Our background, our parents and those who surround us inject into us a mind that thinks as the world teaches. Who we are, what we think, our beliefs and our behavior come from a worldly mind.
My father died of tuberculosis when I was six. My mother and I moved to a small rural city into a three room home. It had one bedroom, a living room and kitchen with no hot water. I slept on a cot in the living room. When I was in the seventh grade my mother remarried and we moved to the city where we had an indoor bathroom with hot water and a bathtub.
I went to a grade school from 1st to the 8th grade. When I was in the third grade I became active in sports. Sports were something that gave me a sense of achieving and being accepted. I learned the importance of being competitive and the importance of practice and preparation to excel. I believed that success in life could be earned through setting goals and using the same methods used in sports.
It wasn’t until I left the Navy that I turned my life over to Christ. II Corinthians 5:17 – 18 – best describes my reaction to salvation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:” A definite change took place when I received the Holy Spirit. However, my mind changed very little. I still was just as competitive and goal oriented as ever.
It took a number of years reading and studying the Bible until I realized that I still had a way to go to become spiritually mature. One thing that may help Christians struggling and falling short of living a holy and righteous life is to put into practice what it says in Philippians 2:5 – “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:” The Bible says that Christ came as a servant and was very humble. He loved others and spent much time with those who were the neediest.
What have we made the most important things in our lives? Is our mind still on the things of the world or do we have the same mindset as Christ? We are to imitate Christ in how we live. How many believe they have reached that point? Actually, if we are spiritually mature we would say none of us. Yet, this is what we are told we must do, is to develop the “mind” of Christ.
We know if Christ were in our place God would be first, family second, others third and then the career would follow. How many Christians really place God first? Judge them by their love for Him, their commitment, obedience to Christ’s teaching such as tithing, serving, etc. How about our families? Do we spend time with them doing things as a family? Too many guys put careers first and playing golf or spending time elsewhere? The family gets whatever time is left over and that is not always quality time. It is difficult to change from having a worldly mind to having a mindset as Christ.
Too often those who reach their goal find that once it is obtained it is not as gratifying as they had expected. No matter how much one acquires with a worldly mind it never seems to be enough. This is a problem that took me a while to realize. I reached a number of goals and then found they were not as satisfying as I had expected. Sometimes it is too late for many men before they regret the lack of time spent with their family. Some may only realize it when their children are all gone. Many times I have wished I could start all over again. It just seems it took a long time before I realized what Scripture was teaching. I spent too much time earning an income and not enough time learning how to develop the “mind” of Christ. Hope you will give this some consideration!
In spite of ourselves God blessed us with a Christian family who are living actively by serving Him.