The Mind of Christ: What it Means for the Believer

5 Mins read

In his first letter to the Corinthian Church, Paul discussed the importance of allowing the “mind of Christ” to be the controlling force in the way that we think, act, and go about our daily lives. However, it’s difficult to understand what that really means. Can we really have the mind of Christ? After all, He was God in the flesh. The Bible says we can, which means it’s not only possible, but it’s necessary.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16 (TPT)
For we did not receive the spirit of this world system but the Spirit of God, so that we might come to understand and experience all that grace has lavished upon us. And we articulate these realities with the words imparted to us by the Spirit, and not with the words taught by human wisdom. We join together Spirit-revealed truths with Spirit-revealed words. Someone living on an entirely human level rejects the revelations of God’s Spirit, for they make no sense to him. He can’t understand the revelations of the Spirit because they are only discovered by the illuminations of the Spirit. Those who live in the Spirit are able to carefully evaluate all things, and they are subject to the scrutiny of no one but God. For who has ever intimately known the mind of the Lord Yahweh well enough to become his counselor? Christ has, and we possess Christ’s perceptions.

Today, it’s important to spend some time carefully examining how you perceive things. All of us have a natural perception to most things that we face. While we may label these perceptions as optimistic and pessimistic, our true perception comes down to the difference between seeing things through the mind of Christ or through our natural minds.

For example, how do you view seasons adversity? For most of us, hardships, trials, and tribulations induce fear and anxiety. It’s hard for us to find anything redeeming about seasons of difficulty. However, when we view those seasons through the mind of Christ, we’re able to “count it all joy” when we find ourselves facing these difficult times like the Book of James teaches us.

Paul discussed the importance of controlling our minds and putting them under subjection to God multiple times. For instance, in Romans 12:2, Paul wrote that we should allow our minds to be completely transformed, putting away the thought patterns of this world, and allowing our thoughts to be transformed by the Spirit of God.

What does it mean to have the mind of Christ? What did Paul mean when he wrote that we have Christ’s perceptions? Having Christ’s perceptions means that we allow the way that He thinks to shape the way that we view ourselves, the way that we view others, and the way that we view the seasons of adversity that are a natural part of our earthly existence.

Having the Right Self-Perception

Romans 12:3 (TPT)
God has given me grace to speak a warning about pride. I would ask each of you to be emptied of self-promotion and not create a false image of your importance. Instead, honestly assess your worth by using your God-given faith as the standard of measurement, and then you will see your true value with an appropriate self-esteem.

We already discussed Paul’s admonishment to allow our minds to be transformed from Romans 12:2. It’s important to remember that the original text wasn’t divided up into chapters and verses the way that we read the Bible today. Instead, Paul seamlessly transitioned from the command to allow our minds to be transformed by the Word of God into the importance of having the proper perspective of ourselves.

Many people have a skewed sense of self-worth. On one hand, we often view ourselves through the lens of our shortcomings, meaning that we believe the lie of Satan that says that we’re unforgivable, unworthy, and even unsaved. When we view ourselves only through the lens of our failure, we cannot see ourselves the same way that the Father does. Conversely, some people view themselves as some sort of spiritual elitist. They have allowed themselves to become so caught up in their own righteousness that they believe that they are somehow better than others.

Paul spoke about the importance of not getting a false image of your own importance. Instead, he said that you should assess your worth by using your faith as a standard of measurement. When you take that approach to your own self-perception, you don’t have to worry about overvaluing or undervaluing yourself. The mind of Christ allows you to see yourself as God sees you. Loved by Him, not because of anything you’ve done to earn it, but just because He is so good.

How Do You Perceive Others?

Romans 12:9-10 (TPT)
Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another.

Another passage from the 12th chapter of Romans only seeks to further prove the point that Paul was passionate about the way that we perceive things around us. In this instance, he speaks of the importance of how we view others. Cultivating and nurturing healthy relationships with other people is hard. After all, you have certain thoughts and tendencies, and so do the people who you’re trying to form relationships with.

The way that you perceive others is directly tied to the way that you perceive yourself. As we’ve already discussed, when you view yourself as God does, you don’t have to worry about having an overinflated or underinflated sense of self-worth. When you view others the way that God views them, you don’t see them as being better than they are or inferior. Instead you see them as a human who is not all that different than you are.

Did you catch the end of Paul’s 10th verse here? “Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor to one another.” You’re not in competition with the people around you, and you shouldn’t view them as competitors. Instead, you’re in competition only with yourself, and your goal is to be more respectful to others than you were yesterday.

How Do You Perceive Adversity?

Romans 12:12 (TPT)
Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times.

Finally, Paul’s final admonishment regarding our perceptions in Romans 12 is found in the importance of adjusting the way that we perceive the hardships that are an inescapable part of life. As long as we are in this natural realm, we are going to face adversity. Job, perhaps the greatest example of hardship that we have in the Bible said that “Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1). If you’re reading this, you were born of a woman. That means that you’re prone to experience troubles.

However, those seasons of adversity and difficulty are not meant to destroy us. Instead, we can shift our focus and rest on the promise that God is able to use those seasons to do something far greater in our lives. Before Paul wrote the words we read in Romans 12, he penned the following verse:

Romans 8:28 (TPT)
So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.

View your troubles as something that is necessary for what God is doing in your life. He is able to take every detail, even the bad ones, and weave them together to do something glorious.

A Closing Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help me to look at myself, others, and my situations with the mind of Christ. Help me to perceive what’s happening beneath the surface instead of what I can see. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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