Focus: Who you are
Philippians 2:5 (NKJV) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.
In our society and the age we live in—‘what we become’ is often viewed as what career choice we make. ‘Success’ in this life is commonly associated with our income level, benefits, retirement package, and so on. Our impression of prosperity is often decided with respect to a person’s neighborhood, the size of their home, the make—model—and year of the car they drive, their wardrobe and jewelry, how many vacations they take and where they go.
Generally speaking, people might have certain attributes which would suit them for various vocations—but, when we think about what God wants us to ‘become’—it’s not the same thing as considering a career. In God’s sight—and in life—‘what we become’ is not so much ‘what we do’ as ‘who we are’.
Who are you? If you had to describe yourself without mentioning ‘what you do’, what would you say?
When I was young, I defined myself by popular music. It was all I cared about. Usually the first thing I would ask a new acquaintance, was what groups they liked to listen to. This was my way of finding out if we had anything in common. If they didn’t like the groups I liked—there wasn’t much to talk about.
Later in my young adult life, I was completely fascinated by astrology. I thought it was sophisticated and believed it was harmless. When I met a person, within the first few moments of conversation I’d ask them what sign they were. I had studied all of the signs of the zodiac and knew the characteristics of each one. When a person told me their sign—in my mind—I thought I had an instant understanding of who they were and whether we could be compatible.
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Some people are the same way about Christianity. They know all of the denominations and when they meet another person who says they are a Christian—they quickly delve into finding out ‘what church they attend’—just like I used to ask people what groups they listened to—or what ‘sign’ they were.
When asked to describe yourself, you might venture to say you’re a ‘Christian’—but who are you in Christ—aside from what church you attend? How much of your life does Christ occupy? You may have hobbies you are really ‘wrapped up’ in—but, how ‘wrapped up’ are you in Christ? Is He better than your hobby? Is He your central theme? Here’s where a lot of people chime in with the saying, “Well, you can’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good”—as though it were a Bible verse. Well, guess what? It’s not a Bible verse.
The Bible says in Philippians 2:5, that we should have the same kind of mind Jesus had. Jesus was completely heavenly minded. He was the most ‘focused’ individual who ever lived. He was focused completely on fulfilling His purpose and living His life in absolute communion with His Father and the Holy Spirit.
As Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He told them to say, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done—on earth as it is in heaven”. I don’t know how you interpret that, but to me it says we should be completely heavenly minded—or kingdom minded, however you want to say it…and please let’s not get into a debate about whether the kingdom is heaven, or not. The point is, our purpose is to be focused on doing the will of God. What Jesus was saying is that we should live in divine harmony with the kingdom of God by living our lives in constant consideration of His will.
When I was younger, I thought I could ‘have it all’. I thought it was best to be ‘well rounded’. I prided myself on being well read and able to speak intelligently about a wide variety of topics. I had an ‘open mind’. I didn’t take the Word of God seriously. I thought it was one source of knowledge, but not the only one. I knew a lot of Bible verses, but I also knew the words to the top 40 songs on the popular music charts—and I could tell what zodiac sign a person was if they only told me their birthday, because I had memorized the dates of all the signs. I felt confident that I could talk about God, discuss music and astrology, politics, the news, fashion, business, and all of the things I considered important. God wasn’t my central theme. He was just one of the things I carried around in my bag of tricks. I thought people who were overly religious were fanatics and surely didn’t want to be thought of as ‘one of them’.
When everything started going to pieces in my life—all the time and interest I had spent on music, astrology, and other pursuits did me no good. It wasn’t like those things could give anything back to me in return for what I had invested. I had worked so hard to have a mind that wasn’t ‘narrow’—that my mind wasn’t like the mind of Christ at all.
Declaration: I will find new strength by taking a more serious look at who I am becoming. I will examine the things I consider important and whether changes need to be made. I will honestly contemplate whether I have the mind of Christ…and if I don’t, I will start making that my priority.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.