Being aware of mindsets is crucial in our walk with Jesus. Our thought patterns greatly affect our belief systems and how we navigate through the walk of faith. It can have such an affect that it means the difference between victory and a life filled with shame. Our worldview will determine whether we are of the Kingdom or of the world. The most bipolar people are those who try to adhere to Kingdom principles while still trying to live worldly. You cannot embrace both and hope to walk successfully by faith. Relationships between people are greatly hampered when there's a disconnect between what true love is and what a person truly believes about love. For those in Christ Jesus, they have the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16). If that is true, why do a number of them maintain the world's approach to life? Holding onto the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life leads to disaster. Lets take a look at a few examples that may bring clarity to what each of us cling to in relation to mindsets.
The Bible teaches us that we cannot earn God's love nor eternal life. Our behavior does not make God love us more, or less. He does not withhold love because we blow it, nor does He lavish us with more love because we do well. God never changes. He is love, which means His love never changes. His love sees beyond behavior. If we truly believe that, should we not love others in the same manner? Why do some believers withhold love when people do not meet their expectations? Simple, they still view love through the world's eyes. In come cases, it is ingrained because they have learned a pattern of earned love while growing up in a dysfunctional environment; but then, the world is dysfunctional. In some cases, people are afraid of guilt by association. They are fearful they will be negatively branded if they love a “criminal” or someone who misbehaves. Jesus identified with sinners on the Cross, criminals before God, in order to reconcile mankind to God. Yep, He identified with you! Does not love forgive, restore and reconcile? Love recognizes bad behavior is the result of sin and brokenness. People are in bondage to sin and fear. It takes love to deliver them. Does your mindset toward behavior cause you to despise others, or stir you up to see them healed and reconciled? James1:17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Hebrews13:8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 1 John4:16And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.
Forgiveness is huge in the kingdom of God; yet, even some believers will say things as, “He got what he deserved!” Did you get what you deserved when you asked the Lord to forgive you? That attitude is based on self-righteousness which embraces unforgiveness. Self-righteous people can be some of the most arrogant and unforgiving lot on the planet. At best, they expect people to live up to their expectations before they forgive them. They have to “tow the line” before they embrace them. For some, forgiveness is conditional. They forgive some offenses while not forgiving others. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the only unforgivable sin before God. That means all the rest are forgivable. Where does your list of forgivable sins lie in relation to His? Granted, emotions can greatly impede forgiveness; however, God's grace is more than sufficient to get you through those emotions. In fact, as you forgive through the power of His grace, your emotions will follow. Instead of hatred, anger, wrath and bitterness, you will have perfect peace ruling in your heart. Love and compassion replaces hostility and vengeance. The mindset that says, “I will forgive, forget and restore,” wins!
One last example: victory. If Jesus made us more than conquers, why do so many try to get the victory in various areas of their lives? Without realizing it, they move into pride and failure when they take that approach. I can repress the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes by using the pride of life for a season. That's still self-righteousness that is doomed to fail; in fact, it already did. Pride is something God greatly despises. When you take the approach that sees the battle won already, because Jesus already fought the battle for you, you will walk in victory. Trying to get the victory says, “Jesus failed, it's up to me now.” We must always see things from the standpoint of victory, no matter how low you may feel at the time. Our victory is an act of submission, which includes giving Jesus all the credit. We cannot even sneak in a little, “I overcame through Jesus by faith.” No, Jesus overcame and gave us faith to receive it. He did it all! Romans 8:35–37Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.