“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” – 1 Peter 4:1-2 ESV
Our mind is the powerhouse of our body. It controls every part of the body and influences our actions. The information we feed our mind with determines the nature of our mindset as it shapes our view of life and actions. Therefore the difference between the wise and the fool, the ways of a believer and non-believer, a champion and a quitter is dependant on their type of mindset. Also, the variations of norms and values among cultures and countries are also based on the different types of mindsets.
We live in a very twisted and crooked generation, where our minds are fed with so much junk through the media to shape our view concerning God and godliness. However, I am not saying that everything produced by the media is bad.
As believers, it is important for us to arm ourselves with a godly mindset by renewing our minds with the word of God otherwise we are fighting a losing battle against sin. The major tool of the enemy is to draw man away from God through manipulation of the mind – Genesis 3:1-7, especially verses 1 – 5.
Arming ourselves with a godly mindset helps us to live the godly life that is pleasing in the sight of God – Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 1:10 and Philippians 1:27. The word of God should be the lens of our minds on how we view life and God and godliness, not the information of this world.
The big question here is – how can we practically arm ourselves with a godly mindset? We offer 5 biblical practical steps in doing so and we hope you find this helpful.
- Consider yourselves dead to sin
“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 6:11 ESV
What Paul is trying to tell us in Romans 6:11 in relation to the topic is for us to be able to arm ourselves with a godly mindset. We need to be convinced in our minds and hearts that we are dead to sin that by the virtue of His death on the cross, alive to God by the virtue of His resurrection, and as a result of being alive in Christ, we would never return to our former ways – which Paul echoes in verses 6 to 10.
Therefore by considering ourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ lays the foundation in arming ourselves with a godly mindset.
- Be ready to suffer for Christ just as He suffered for you
“And they departed from the presence of council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name” – Acts 5:41
We find the book of Acts to be an amazing book. We read of the accomplishments of the early church and marvel. But let it never get lost that one of the things that fed the attitude of the early church was their mindset that suffering for Jesus’ sake was a privilege to be enjoyed, and not a burden to be escaped. Truth is, choosing to walk the path less travelled in a culture that is increasingly becoming intolerant of the Christian worldview will involve some forms of suffering. In whatever form your persecution comes; from Internet trolling to difficulty at work, have the mindset that being found worthy to suffer for his name is a privilege.
- Set your minds on the things above
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” – Colossians 3:2 ESV
Paul in his writing to the church of Colossae told them to set their minds on the things above, and not on the things that are on this earth. This piece of scripture is important in our lives as believers especially in this day and age that we are living in. There are so many things going on in this world from television to events, social media to fashion/trends, political to economic pressures etc. We can get trapped and caught up with these things which can easily distract us from setting our minds on heavenly things as we are supposed to do.
The moment our minds are taken off God and distracted from the things of God by the things of the world, it affects our worship to God, thus draws us far away from Him. It is the aim of the enemy to use the things on earth to distract us from serving God to please our fleshly desires. That is why it is important as believers that we have to be watchful of our way of life, so that we are not distracted by anything on this earth.
For us to be able to set our minds on things above, we have to study scripture, meditate on scripture and apply scripture to our lives daily. The things above cannot be found anywhere except in the word of God.
In arming ourselves with a godly mindset we need to sets our minds beyond the transient things of this world because the things of this world have no place in the eternal dwelling place God has prepared for his people. Let’s invest our time and strength in things that are of eternal value.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8 ESV
- Renewing the mind with the word
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2 ESV
The only way we can arm ourselves with a godly mindset is to replace the error of the world’s way of thinking with God’s truth, and the only infallible source of God’s truth is His revealed Word, the Bible (Got Questions). As Pastor John Piper states, “The Spirit renews the mind. It is first and decisively his work. We are radically dependent on him. Our efforts follow his initiatives and enablings.”
“There are no shortcuts. There is no magical formula for renewing our minds. We must fill our minds with God’s Word. As Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17) – Got Questions.
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
As much we need to practically arm ourselves with a godly mindset, it also takes the supernatural work of God for such a mindset to be effective. As James 5:16 puts it, the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. For the practical steps in arming ourselves to have a godly mindset to be effective, it needs to be supplemented with prayer.
If Romans 12:2 was written in this age of Twitter, the need for brevity and concise notes might have made it read somewhat like this; “Only a dead fish floats with the current. Be different.” Read the Bible and this much becomes obvious; the man called by God is a cultural rebel. The Christian is a cultural rebel. If you are going to successfully walk through life with a godly mindset, let the Word of God continually transform you. Let it be your moral compass and spiritual handbook. And get ready; people will laugh at you for being different. But when they do, do not be discouraged for being different because if you live for the acceptance of men, you will die from their rejection.
Co-Author: Eyram Osei