When everything seems to happen at the same time – let’s say your colleague at work gets sick and you have to cover for this colleague in the interim in addition to doing your own job while at home you are going through some major changes too. Yes, you get the picture! Have you ever noticed that in a stressed out state you and I are not the same person? Have you noticed how our patience is wearing thin and how love goes out the window? Reading Paul’s statement: “owe nothing to anyone – except for your obligation to love one another” almost feels like a threat when we are in this state of mind.
An old Billy Joel tune comes to mind – ever listened to his “New York State of Mind?” Below is a quick excerpt of his lyrics:
“It comes down to reality
And it’s fine with me cause I’ve let it slide
I don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside
I don’t have any reasons
I left them all behind
I’m in a New York state of mind”
You know that the Bible becomes especially interesting when it comes down to reality? Mountain peak moments are fine, but they are just that: mountain peaks. When we come down that mountain we come down to reality, and that’s what is interesting, that’s what makes or breaks us hopefully into better people, and essentially, that’s when we especially become aware of how much we need God. And God will see us through everything, but in order to even detect Him in the nonsense that life sometimes throws at us we all need, desperately need the mind of Christ. When it comes down to reality and we dropped all our balls we fall on our knees. And as we fall on our knees we really fall into God’s mighty hands who pick us up and hold us tight. Instead of trying to understand why in the world all these things are happening in our life we say with Paul (1 Corinthians 2:16):
“Who can know the Lord’s thought? Who knows enough to teach him? But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.”
Jesus is not watching your life from the outside looking in like we do when we’re watching television. Jesus is many things, but He is certainly not a spectator; if anything He is an agitator and collaborator.
· Agitator: He helps us do things we thought impossible to do
· Collaborator: He is in the same boat with you and me. He’s right there working with us.
Jesus uses the imagery of a yoke to get a point across. Matthew wrote in his gospel (Matthew 11:29):
“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The mind of Christ indicates that Jesus helps us from within. His spirit strengthens us, softens our heart to love, gives us direction in confusion, gives us wisdom when we face difficulties, gives us the wherewithal to navigate through this crazy life, and most importantly to me, gives me a shoulder to cry on. I love the fact that Jesus is our Prince of Peace.
From the inside out Jesus changes the world. Children of God are – in a Jesus state of mind.