A Different Way of Thinking

1 Corinthians 2:16

For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

What does it mean to have the mind of Christ? One of the things I believe it means is to do things the way Christ did them, or the way Christ would do them. We have all seen the t-shirt, or the wristband with the initials WWJD. What Would Jesus Do? 

It is human nature when bad things happen, to have a “what about me?” thought. It is our nature to use our sufferings, our hurts, to become a bit self-centered. Self-centeredness in a time of crisis seems a bit understandable. It is not in our nature to think about someone else’s problems while we are in the middle of our own.

When we are in the middle of our problems, it is a normal thing to focus on what we can do for ourselves, or on what we can do to get by. How can I get mine? Why does everyone else seem better off than me? How can I get my blessing?

I have learned something about how to get your blessing. It's really not that hard. If you want to receive a blessing, be a blessing.

Luke 6:38

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

When you are in the middle of a really bad day, when everything seems to be going wrong, when all you really want is someone to simply be nice to you, here is what you do. Find someone to be nice to, and be nice to that person. Find someone you can help, and help that person. Find someone to bless, and bless that person.

Take the time today to read the passage in Luke’s gospel that details the story of Jesus’ death on the cross found in Luke 23:33-43. 

Jesus had His beard plucked (the most insulting, humiliating thing you could do to a man in that society). He had been beaten, stripped, whipped, crowned with thorns, mocked, and finally crucified…the cruelest form of execution known. We cannot imagine what that must have been like being nailed to a cross.

It would have been really easy, and really understandable, for Jesus to be a little self-centered at that moment, but instead of asking His Father to send angels to get Him off the cross, He hung there and died as a sacrifice for our sins. He hung there and asked His Father to forgive those who had crucified Him. And as He hung there dying, He turned and ministered to the thief who sought forgiveness.

The mind of Christ at that moment was not self-centered, but “others-centered.” In loneliness and abuse, we justify whatever effort we make to preserve ourselves. In loneliness and abuse, Christ used the situation to bless not only the repentant thief and those who physically crucified Him, but He used the situation to bless you and me; to provide the way for you and me to be forgiven of our sins and to have the way to eternal life in heaven.

Oh, thank You, Jesus!

Excerpt from “RESTORED A Practical Guide to Becoming A New Creation” © 2019 by R. Murphy Hanley