A Difference In Mindsets
By: Brian A. Yeager
A mindset is: “the established set of attitudes held by someone” (New Oxford American Dictionary). As Christians, our thinking is supposed to be different than someone who is of the world (Romans 12:1-3). Notice the following inspired words penned by the Apostle Paul: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:3-5).
As God’s people, we’re expected to allow the word of God to permeate throughout our hearts and minds (Deuteronomy 6:6, Deuteronomy 11:18, Deuteronomy 30:14, Psalms 119:11, Proverbs 4:4, Proverbs 23:12, Jeremiah 15:16, Ezekiel 3:10, Luke 8:15, Colossians 3:16, and James 1:21-25). We are supposed to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). We are supposed to speak as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11). When we examine the word of God we see the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:9-16).
If a person has a carnal mind, that individual cannot do that which is right in the sight of God. Notice what the Scriptures say about this: “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God… This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Romans 8:5-8 and Galatians 5:16-17).
Clearly, we can see that we’re supposed to think differently than people who are of the world. From what we love (I John 2:15-17) to whom we serve (II Corinthians 4:4 and Ephesians 2:1-2), we’re different than worldly people. In fact, we should notice that we are vastly different than people of the world (Titus 2:11-14). Recently (in February), I heard a statement from a worldly woman that brought these very things to mind.
Different Mindsets, Even At The Zoo
My family and the Wright family were together at a Zoo (Animal Park to be exact). My mind was on how wonderful God has created all things (Genesis 1:31). I am always amazed to consider the power of our Creator (Isaiah 40:26). Evidence of God’s existence is shown by everything He has created (Acts 17:24-28). I thought of how God has all the creatures of this earth, both great and small, to be in subjection to man (Genesis 1:27-28). This is evident in how creatures, untainted by man, fear us.
As I was lost in thought and was considering the greatness of all that God has created, the tour guide made an announcement. To the best of my recollection, he said: “on your right you will notice our Somalia Wild Asses”. All around us there was snickering and foolish comments. One lady behind us said, “if that were my name I would change it” as she ignorantly chuckled.
With my mind in the right place, I did not think for a moment of the vulgar meaning associated with the word ass. We all should understand the sinfulness of using vulgar speech (Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 5:1-4, and Colossians 3:8). The dictionary definition of the term ass is: “a hoofed mammal of the horse family with a braying call, typically smaller than a horse and with longer ears. (In general use) a donkey. Informal; a foolish or stupid person” (New Oxford American Dictionary).
I have used the Scriptures to train up my children. I have taught them daily from the time they could first start learning. The word of God is discussed often in our home. God expects us to teach the Scriptures to our children (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, Deuteronomy 32:46, and Ephesians 6:4). Unlike other children who hear the word “ass” and laugh ignorantly, my children know exactly what this term means. They know you are either talking about a donkey or a person who is acting like a donkey when you use this term.
The spiritually minded child of God knows about asses (the animal and those acting like the animal), because God’s word teaches us these things. Notice: “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him… And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them… For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD. How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways; A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her… Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass” (Genesis 22:3, Job 1:14, Jeremiah 2:22-24, and Matthew 21:5).
The terms ass and asses appear over one hundred times in the King James Version. If we are spiritually minded students and teachers of God’s word, we should not chuckle or think vulgarly concerning this word. That is one, of many, differences between being spiritually minded opposed to being carnally minded.
What is your mindset? Do you think of innocent things or words wrongly because you’re more educated in the world than in the Scriptures? Consider this as our conclusion: “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled” (Titus 1:15).
Volume 12 – Issue 33 - May 6th, 2012