Mindset on Jesus

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult times in life and one of the most difficult things to understand. When we are tied in knots with grief and heartache, life slows down. When we are not exercising our strength to say goodbye, it seems someone we know is going through the painful stages of grief. The heartache penetrates to a deep place forcing us to grapple with the meaning of life.  I have a friend who reminds us that it’s actually death that brings our attention and focus back to life.  During this grieving process, we have recollections of what this world is all about. It’s about the living. 

We often realize that we need to readjust our priorities. It’s not uncommon to see families that have been torn apart by misunderstandings and bitterness to experience forgiveness and reconciliation. In our shock and grief, we say things like, “It shouldn’t take something like this to bring us all together.” Often families can’t even remember what divided them. Our remembrances of our loved ones who have passed are focused on their spirit of life and that brings us comfort. 

My adult daughter is working towards her education in the science field and the class she took recently required her to work on a cadaver. I know it’s all scientific, but who of us doesn’t wrinkle up our nose and make an icky face at the thought of that? We talked about it for days ahead of time. I was curious to hear her thoughts about her experience.  Afterward, she said, “We really are just flesh and bones and there isn’t much difference between one body and another. Our anatomy is the same. What makes us all unique and distinctive is our personality and spirit.”

What she shared was rich. I pondered it for many days and weighed it alongside what God tells us about life and death in Romans 8: 5-6 (NIV). "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but 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."

I took special note of two words. The word flesh and the word according; which simply means, to agree. I concluded that when I agree to set my mind on things, ideas, wants, and needs (whether they are of the flesh or the spirit) then I will live accordingly and in agreement with my mindset. Without any effort at all, daily decisions are already pre-directed. Now call me Captain Obvious, but wow what an, aha! Here we realize that it all starts with a mindset.

After hearing my daughter’s explanation of working on a cadaver the word flesh took on a new meaning. When my mind is governed or ruled by the flesh, then the flesh will get what it wants! Oh dear, it’s true.  My flesh has desires! I am in a battle with them daily. If I agree with a fleshly mindset, I will lose those daily battles. That mindset leads to the same place every time; that place where we all have the same anatomy, but no spirit. Death.  

Nicodemus wrestled with the meaning of life. He was a curious Pharisee who began to take note that there was something very special about Jesus.  All the things he witnessed proved to him that there must be a God who walked with Jesus. Nicodemus went to seek Him out one night. He went at night so that he wouldn’t be found out.  At large, the collective pack of Pharisees rejected Jesus. Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be born again of the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God.  Jesus explained how his spirit could go on living. Nic was such a curious guy. That’s something all Christians have in common. Curiosity. 

Another thing believers have in common is the ability to set their minds on the things of the Spirit. When we agree with the Spirit by inviting Jesus into our lives then we have the ability to live according to the Spirit. When our minds are set on the things of the Spirit then we desire the things that lead to life and peace. It leads to eternal life. Life Nicodemus learned about from Jesus. When we are born again of the Spirit these things are possible.

Do you grapple with the meaning of life? Have you noticed something special about Jesus or the people who know Him? Perhaps it is time to be curious about your mindset that is pre- directed to fulfill our desires. Will that mindset lead to the place where we all have the same anatomy or to life and peace? Where is your mindset today? Something to think about.

Sheri Page is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She has been married to her husband for 10 years and cherishes their blended family of 6 adult children and 9 grandchildren. Sheri has worked in and alongside ministries for over 30 years. She has served many roles within the walls of a church including, a Women’s Ministry director and assistant to a Care Pastor where she served people who were walking through Baptism, Celebrate Recovery, Divorce Care and benevolence. Sheri loves to share her curiosity and unique understanding of life with Jesus by her side. She is a 5-year breast cancer survivor and considers that experience to be one of the greatest gifts God has given her. More writings from Sheri can be found on her blog: https://thelordsdwellingplace.com/