A Radical Mindset
by Mary Alice McGinnis
“Mindset” seems to be a big buzz word these days. But what is a “mindset”? In the most simplistic terms, it is what we set our minds on.
Vocabulary.com defines mindset as a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations.
Today’s reading calls us to adopt a new, radical mindset. "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus."
How can Jesus change our habitual or characteristic mental attitude? How can the way Jesus lived change the direction of our minds, what we seek after and strive for? And even more, how will it change how we see, interpret, and respond in our day to day lives?
Close your eyes for a moment. Join me in this simple moving meditation. Place your fingers over your mouth. Picture in your mind, God the Father opening His mouth, unleashing all His creative power, breathing the entirety of creation into existence.
John 1:1 says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”
Sit with this vision for a moment. Place your hands over your eyes. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to His majesty, His power, He Sovereignty over all things.
Reach your arms wide above your head.
Reflect on how He commands the sun to come up every morning and set every evening.
Stretch your arms out higher as you consider the vastness of the universe. Jesus, the Son of God, sitting at the right hand of the Father, reigns over it all.
Though He is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, He did not feel the need to prove Himself. He was so sure of who He was, He did not feel the need to chase after equality with God the Father.
Instead, He chose to do the unthinkable. Place and hold your hands over your chest as you ponder. Jesus is the one who gives breath to your lungs and keeps your heart beating. Yet, He chose to step down from His royal throne to take on frail human flesh, just like the body on which your hands now rest. Picture Him, born into this world as a tiny, helpless infant, lying in His manger bed.
Push your hands now down to the floor to your right and to your left, as if you are laying somethings aside. Jesus gave up - laid aside - all His privileges as a sovereign King, becoming a lowly servant. See Him as He kneels and washes the disciples’ feet.
Palms down, rest your hands on the table or desk in front of you. Now bow your head and rest your forehead on top of your hands. Hold this posture of surrender for a moment. Ponder how Jesus surrendered Himself to the will of His Father. Hear the words of Jesus in the Garden, “Father, not my will, but Yours be done.”
Lift your arms straight out to your right and to your left. Jesus willingly surrendered and obeyed God the Father, even to the point of death. Jesus allowed Himself to be stretched out and hung on a cross. He allowed Himself to be subjected to what was not just a painful death, but the most shameful of all deaths. Even being forsaken by God His Father.
Galatians 3:13 quotes from the Old Testament, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.”
Sweep your arms across your body and place each hand on your opposite shoulder. Feel the Savior's warm embrace. He holds you close as He tells you, “I did this all for YOU! You no longer are an enemy of God. I have taken on your sin and rebellion. I have endured the crushing blow of death and the shame you deserve. You are mine.”
Raise your arms once again to the sky. See the resurrected Jesus, exalted once more to the highest place. He is given the name above all names. And when He comes back, every knee on earth and under the earth will bow down to Him as the Lord of all.
Cup your hand to your ear. Listen as He calls each of us to trust Him. He invites us to surrender to the One who loves us. He asks us to be His willing servants, even if it may mean pain, hurt and suffering. He promises His resurrection power will be in us and work through us until that day when we are called home. We can set our minds on that final day when ALL guilt, shame, pain, suffering finally be vanquished. We can live in the embrace of Him who gave up all for our sake and is now sits as the Sovereign King of all.
How can embracing this mindset change the direction of your mind, what you seek after and strive after? How will it change how you see, interpret, and respond in your relationships today?
Jesus, You have done the unthinkable, humbling Yourself, becoming a servant, willingly surrendering in obedience to the Father, and dying the death of shame that I deserve. As I lift my hands in praise to You now, I bring my hands in prayer to my forehead. I pray that you work in my mind to embrace all You have done for me. Change my mindset, LorAs I move my prayer hands to my heart, lead me to reflect Your heart in my relationships and in the world around me today.