A Godly Mind
One of the great spiritual challenges of our day is the simple need for believers to have a right attitude. Attitudes are important because they form the foundation of our beliefs and actions. Webster’s definition of the word “attitude” can be loosely summarized as “an internal position or feeling regarding people, objects, events, activities or ideas.”
Attitudes begin in the heart, and are generally based on our own personal desires. They are easy to develop and hard to change. Shaped by our training, friendships, and experiences, they quickly become deeply ingrained in our character, and we are usually convinced that our position is right. But what if it’s not?
Churches today are filled with Christians who see others in light of their own spiritual understanding and then judge them for failing to measure up. The problem becomes even more serious when we expect those who don’t know the Lord to believe and behave like believers. On the other side of the issue we find Christians who focus their attention on the love of God and refuse to pass judgment on any issue. Their proof text is Matthew 7:1 which says “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” The result is that they tolerate anything and everything under the guise of loving everyone.
The church at Corinth is a good example of a group of believers with an “attitude” problem. They were full of envy and strife, tolerant of known sin, took one another to court, abused the Lord’s Table, and generally used their liberty as an opportunity to satisfy their fleshly desires. Yet they were full of pride. They were proud of their loyalty to specific spiritual leaders, proud of their misused spiritual gifts, and proud of their assumed spiritual knowledge. They simply ignored their failures and declared themselves righteous.
The believers at Philippi, though much more mature than the believers at Corinth, had their own assortment of problems, including division. In verse 3 of chapter 2 of his epistle to them, Paul makes the following request: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory.” Again, as with the Corinthian believers, the problem had to do with selfish, arrogant attitudes.
So what is a proper attitude? How is it developed? What does the scripture have to say about it?
Although the word “attitude” is not actually used in scripture, the concept is one of its primary teachings. Heart, mind, and spirit are words which are commonly used to convey the idea of attitude. The Apostle Paul was addressing this very issue when he said in Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” In Romans 12:2 we find a similar admonition when Paul says “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Though it may sound overly simplistic, it’s obvious that the key to a right attitude involves having a Godly mind. If believers would approach circumstances in their lives with a Godly thought process, most personal offenses would disappear, strife would all but vanish and the disputes that normally cause serious division would be quickly resolved – and our fellowship would be sweet, unified, and pleasing to our God.