Why is it important to mind your mindset?
The answer is simple. Your mindset is a mental lens through which you interpret what goes on around you, and affects how you respond. Not paying attention to your mindset is like texting while driving. You may end up doing something or going somewhere you’ll regret.
How Mindsets Are Formed
A mindset is a way of thinking informed by attitudes and assumptions established by prior behaviors and experiences. Individuals and groups of people have mindsets. These established ways of thinking influence how we respond.
There are a number of mindset theories emphasizing different aspects of how we act individually and collectively, and how the actions in turn influence our mindsets. Each distinguishes two basic types of mindsets, closed and open.
Variations include fixed, stagnant, or defensive mindsets, and flexible, growth, or productive mindsets, depending on the theorist’s field of study.
As Christians, it’s important we mind our mindsets.
We all have mindsets. That’s a given. There are fixed attitudes and assumptions that will always influence our thinking and resulting behavior. The differentiating factor is our willingness to question these assumptions, explore alternatives, and change as needed based on experiences and opportunities that arise.
The Mindset Continuum
There is a mindset continuum. It’s important for you to determine where you are on this scale. Think of three people in a room. The first will not open the door for anything. The second person opens the door a few inches. The third person opens the door all the way.
True, on any given day, depending on the attitudes and assumptions in play, you could be any of the three. But you’ll generally find yourself at the same point on the continuum.
As Christians, it’s important we mind our mindsets, attitudes and assumptions borne out of our study of the Word of God, our spiritual traditions, our prayer life, and our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Having a Renewed Mindset
As Christians, we might say we have neither closed nor open mindsets. We are blessed to have renewed mindsets, renewed constantly by the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit helps us make practical and spiritual sense of where we need to be on the mindset continuum. Through the Spirit, we are connected to the wisdom of the Father, a wisdom that guides us throughout our life.
When we are faithful and diligent in our Christian walk, our renewed mindsets are a combination of fixed principles by which we live, and an openness to new ways to fulfill our God-given purpose as we serve God and his people.
Listen to God's Words
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it, day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Also read: Isaiah 30:21, Colossians 3:2, 2 Timothy 1:7
In the Words of Others
“My greatest challenge has been to change the mindset of people. Mindsets play strange tricks on us. We see things the ways our minds have instructed our eyes to see.” Muhammed Yunus
“God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. And he’s given us the indwelling strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The rest is up to us.” David Jeremiah
Think About It
Where are you on the mindset continuum? How would your family, friends, or co-workers describe you? Why?
Identify two people you know who exhibit close-minded and open-minded characteristics. Give reasons why for each.
If you are a Christian with a renewed mind through the work of the Holy Spirit, describe how it’s affected your mindset?