Your mindset determines, to a large extent, the course of your life. ‘Mindset’ is defined as ‘the established set of attitudes held by someone’ and can be simply expressed as the things you set your mind on. What we think about, focus on and ponder will determine how we live, where we go and what we do.
In Romans 8, the ‘Mount Everest’ of Scripture, we find Paul describing two different mindsets with vastly different outcomes. He says, ‘those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.’ (Rom 8:5-6)
Notice that ‘set’ and ‘governed’ imply a determined focus. Martin Luther differentiated between temptation and sin by likening it to birds flying and making a nest. You can’t stop a thought coming to you (temptation), but you can refuse to let it nest in your mind (sin). Similarly, ‘mindset’ is not something occasional or accidental. It’s a deliberate choice made by constant reflection. It’s what John means when he writes, ‘no one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him.’ (1 John 3:9, see also 1 John 5:18) It’s not that a Christian can’t or doesn’t sin, but we no longer live with our minds set on doing things that are hostile to God. (Rom 8:7-9)
Our mindset can be positive or negative, but for each of us the secret to ‘life and peace’ is to live with our minds set on God: ‘the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.’ (Rom 8:6)
The more we live with an awareness of God’s presence with us and in us, the more we will move towards that family relationship, living out our identity as children of God. (Rom 8:15-17) God has lavished great love on us ‘that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!’ (1 John 3:1) Let’s live as children of God, eyes, heart and mind fixed on Him.