It is disappointing at times to see people who would consider themselves to be mature Christians thinking about issues in the same way as non-Christians. The Bible is very clear that this should not be so. In Romans 12:2 we are told that we should be undergoing a process of ‘losing’ our old pre-Christian mind, through the “renewing of our minds”. Such renewing may not exactly be a brain transplant, but it has the effect of producing a reconstructed mind. This mind is indeed the “mind of Christ” (1Corinthians 2:16) a mind that thinks about issues, even the ordinary ones of life, in the same way as Jesus.
This of course will inevitably bring us into conflict with those who do not have the ‘mind of Christ’ because this renewed mind views things as Jesus does. This will not be in a way that “conforms to the pattern of this world” (Romans 12:2). That is not as our non-Christian family members, friends, workmates or even non-reborn members of a congregation do (something that is likely to bring us into conflict – Luke 12:51-53). To put it another way, those who have been redeemed by Christ are in the process of having their minds redeemed too (i.e. ‘losing’ their old minds), and should increasingly look at things “Christianly”, sadly something not always evident in many church members.
The Christian mind, the mind of Christ, asks questions. e.g.
* In the social realm. With whom should I be socializing, and how can I use these occasions for Christ? We might notice that Jesus, who is our model, rarely socialized with “church” (the religious) people, and if he did, he used it as an opportunity for ministry. Rather he went to the parties and gatherings of the distinctly ‘not respectable’, the outside the “church” people. This caused him a lot of trouble and is another possible source of conflict for us.
* In the family area. How can I use family time to exalt Christ? What other non-church families can I involve? Can I invite others to family gatherings? If we only invite family and friends to our place then as Jesus says, “what credit is that to you? Even the pagans do that!” (Luke 6:32-34).
* Life decisions. Who should I marry? Where should I live? What should I study? What is God’s agenda for my life?
* In the Christian Community. Who should I be taking advice from? Who are those I should avoid? False teachers and damaging people were there in all the N.T churches (one reason many of the N.T. letters were written) and have been in congregations ever since right up to today.
One of the marks of the work of the Spirit of God in those for whom Jesus paid such a price to free them from sin, is that they increasingly think with the mind of Christ which enables them to discern error. Such insight and discernment is accompanied by an increasing knowledge of the “will of God” (Romans 12:2), a knowledge that will direct their life and ministry decisions.
The exhortation of the word of God is that, while we may not have a brain transplant exactly, we should be ‘losing our (old) minds’. This means undergoing a brain reconstruction, turning our pre-Christian mind into the mind of Jesus, so that we think “Christianly”.