(Below are Nicole's thoughts on Chapter 15, The Mind of Christ, in Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question and/or scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's dig deep and join together to fight this battle!)
For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. - 1 Corinthians 2:16
The mind of Christ...that is the mind set we should all strive for. But how? How do think like Christ? How can we change our minds to think like the most perfect man alive?
Joyce gives us six simple steps to follow to have a mind like Christ. They are...
1. Think positive thoughts. Have a positive outlook and attitude. Maintain positive thoughts and expectations. Engage in positive conversation. (p.162-163) During this step, Joyce discusses two things that are very important for us to grasp. The first she writes on page 163...Jesus certainly displayed a positive outlook and attitude. He endured many difficulties including personal attacks-being lied about , being deserted by His disciples when He needed them most, being made fun of, being lonely, misunderstood, and a host of other discouraging things. Yet in the midst of all these negatives He remained positive. He always had an uplifting comment, and encouraging word; He always gave hope to all those He came near. I don't know about you guys but being a mom to a child with autism, I could surely use the mind set of Christ right now. I really had to humble myself and ask if in the midst of this negative battle we call autism, am I remaining positive? Am I providing uplifting comments to other moms or to just anyone? Am I providing hope? I want the mind set of Christ. The second thing that I think it's very important for us to grasp in this first step of thinking like Christ is overcoming depression. Too often, Satan grabs a hold of our minds and will throw us down into a whirlwind of depression before we even know it. Thoughts will come in our heads like "my son will never get better", "will we have to look into institutionalizing him eventually?", and even "I just can't do this." Joyce gives us eight things to remember to quickly help us run from Satan and his trickery of depression. They are to identify the nature and cause of the problem (Satan is going to show you all of the negatives to autism so quickly get them out of your mind), to recognize that depression steals life and light (remember...the longer it is allowed to remain, the harder it becomes to resist.), remember the good times (Look at how far your child has come!) , praise the Lord in the midst of the problem (Thank God for all of the milestones your child has met and IS going to meet! Joyce writes on page 165...God alone can water a thirsty soul. Don't be deceived into thinking that anything else can satisfy you fully and completely. Chasing after the wrong thing will always leave you disappointed, and disappointment opens the door for depression. Thank Him for all He is doing for you!), ask for God's help, listen to the Lord (Wait for Him. Don't decide on your own.) and seek God's wisdom, knowledge and leadership. Don't let Satan win this battle over depression in your mind.
2. Be God-minded. Meditating on God and His ways and works will need to become a regular part of your thought life if you want to experience victory. (p. 167-168) Take the time to really be with God.
3. Be "God-Loves-Me" Minded. (p. 169-172) This is a tricky one. I think that when most of us go through something hard in life we immediately think "What have I done wrong?" or "God is punishing me." When my son was first diagnosed, I immediately thought that God was mad at me. I quickly had to remind myself that God loves me no matter what and does not use our storms in life to punish us. Joyce reminds us on page 169 if we never meditate on His love for us, we will not experience it.
4. Have an exhortative mind. The person with the mind of Christ thinks positive, uplifting, edifying thoughts about other people as well as himself and his own circumstances. So are you the person who adds fuel to the fire, salt to the wound or do you try to put the fire out? In other words, when a friend calls you to vent about someone or something can you speak positive, uplifting words to help them or do you add fuel to the fire to make them even angrier? I really think that with this step, Joyce is encouraging us to not only think positive things about ourselves and each other but to also speak them as well. I love the example she gave on page 173 about the child with behavioral problems...Let's say you have a child who has some behavioral problems and definitely needs to change. You pray for him and ask God to work in his life, making whatever changes are necessary. Now what do you do with your thoughts and words concerning him during the waiting period? Many people never see the answer to their prayers because they negate what they have asked for with their own thoughts and words before God ever gets a chance to work in their behalf. I really think she was speaking directly to me here! Joyce then adds...To live in victory, you must begin by lining up your thoughts with God's Word.
5. Develop a thankful mind. Be a grateful person-one filled with gratitude not only toward God, but also toward people. It's very easy for us to get overwhelmed with autism. However, we need to start taking the time to not only being thankful to God but for each other as well. Especially our spouses.
6. Be Word-minded. It always comes back to the Word of God. Everything that we can do in live to better ourselves, our minds, our family, our physical being...everything goes back to the Word of God. This is why it is so important that we spend a lot of time studying His Word. Not just reading it, but learning from it. Growing from it. I absolutely love what Joyce writes on page 179....The Lord keeps revealing His secrets to those who are diligent about the Word. Don't be the kind of person who always wants to live off of someone else's revelation. Study the Word yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to bless your life with truth. I am guilty of this. I love to read a good, uplifting spiritual book to help get me on track spiritually. However, I need to spend more time with God by reading His Word so that I can get God's interpretation on my life and what I need to do.
I believe that by following these steps we can have a mind like Christ. I love how Joyce closes this chapter with the following scripture:
...whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things. - Philippians 4:8
Thank you for showing and teaching us how to have a mind like Christ. We all want what is best for us in life. Sometimes life gets hard and Satan tries to grab a hold of our minds so that we can't see the victory we have in you. Thank you for always being there for us and helping us through it all. Teach us all to have a that is pleasing to you...a mind like Christ.