"A Mindset for Others"
October 2, 2017
Philippians 2:1-5: Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this mind in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.
Mindset. You often hear people say, "You can do anything if you put your mind to it." Have you heard that before? There are bookstores full of books that tell that "secret" in a variety of ways. They might tell you that your attitude is the key. Others might point out that your action is what is required. You know, start doing the right thing a little each day and then things will work out. Still others might say that your emotion is the key. You know -- passion. Passionately set your mind to something and nothing will stand in your way.
The problem with so many of these self-help solutions is that they are purely focused on oneself. They miss the point that the key to life is not ultimately about our attitudes, our actions, or our passions. Indeed the key to life, now and forever, is realizing our need for a relationship with the God of heaven and receiving that gift of forgiveness and life in Jesus Christ alone. St. Paul reminds us that there is real encouragement in Christ; there is fellowship in the Spirit; there is affection, compassion, yes, life and salvation in Christ by the power of His Spirit for all.
If you are going to develop the right mindset for living, put His mindset to work. See what happened when Jesus put His mind to work to save not only you, but every person in the world: past, present, and future. See what happened when He put His mind to it, lived life perfectly in your place, died on the cross for your sins, and made eternal life possible for you by His resurrection.
And here's the added bonus: not only is this power for living life to its fullest. It opens you up to the possibilities of a life of love for others. When Paul encouraged believers to "be of the same mind, to be united, to do nothing from selfishness, or conceit, to be humble in valuing others more than oneself -- He was merely encouraging them to live for others as Jesus indeed lives for them.
So put your mind to it. Well, see the mind of Christ, the heart of Christ for you, and see what life can be through His eyes for others. What would the world be like if everyone had that mindset for others? Why not try it out with those God has brought into your life, and see!
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, give me focused mindset, centered on Your grace in Jesus, directed in love to those You have brought into my life. In Jesus Name, with His mindset of grace. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries