Thought of the day:
How does one keep the mind of Christ throughout the mundane daily life? “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you…. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”
If you are doing your work, perhaps running an errand, and someone who has no idea what you’re doing randomly starts to accuse you of how you’re doing your work wrong, how would you respond? I know I would be tempted to act defensively. I might even try to accuse them in return and show them that they have no idea what they’re talking about.
But a better response might be to simply pray aloud, “Father, forgive them,” and then continue your task.
How does one keep the mindset that does not fall for such a temptation?
One main reason for the temptation in the first place is that we mirror that which surrounds us, whatever we absorb. If someone in front of me is being accusing, I will be tempted to respond in kind. If that person raises their voice, I will be tempted to do likewise. If it happens enough, I will probably still be tempted to repeat that behavior later on when with different people. And those people will receive similar temptation from being around me.
Is there a way to avoid this?
God says, “You shall be holy, because I the LORD your God am holy.” Therein is the key.
Through Christ we have died to this world, and we no longer live but Christ lives in us. We are “set apart”, holy to God.
The mind of Christ is the mind that views itself as set apart to God. The man of God equipped for every good work is the man to whom it doesn’t matter whether stranger or companion accuses him. He is dead to the world and alive to God.
I know from experience that if you walk through your day with this attitude, “I’m but a stranger here; heaven is my home. I am set apart to God,” then you also have the attitude, “What is the world to me? Why should cross or trial grieve me? Serve the Lord: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (One reason I’m writing about this is that I realize I’ve been failing at this mindset lately; Lord have mercy on me, a sinner!)
And yes, being holy, set apart, also means being mindful of who and what your surround yourself with.
As Paul says, “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? … But what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.’”
If I am devoted to the LORD, why would I surround myself with voices I know will tempt me to mirror their anger, condescension, greed, or sensuality? Why fill my mind with the mindset of not being devoted to the LORD?
Let your home also be a place that is holy to the LORD, because that is where your heart will open up the most.
We must serve our neighbor every day, including the worldly people who are bad influences, as Christ did throughout His ministry. “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?” But serve such neighbors as a missionary, as a light in a dark place. Do not open your heart to mirror such influences, but remember you are “but a stranger here.” When you have completed a day’s work, go to a quiet place to pray.
May our lives and our temporary homes here be set apart to the LORD, who is our true inheritance and whose home is ours to look forward to.