Brennan Manning in his The Importance of Being Foolish makes a turn in his text from looking at the obstacles to us putting on the mind of Christ, and begins to examine the central issue. Manning makes the point that to adopt the mind of Christ is also to understand the devotion of Jesus.
In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus discloses to the Pharisee the greatest commandment, Love the Lord your God, and your neighbor as yourself. In John’s Gospel, Jesus again tells us that the world must come to know Jesus loves the Father and does all that the Father commands.
Lest we come to the view that surely this was Jesus and it is simply too difficult for us, Manning references Paul’s admonition to the Philippians,2:5, “Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus.” Manning points us in this direction, ”Christians who move toward this place will find peace and pleasure in the divine Enough. Here we stop worrying about what we don’t have because we are taking the time to appreciate and enjoy what we do have.” (Catch that phrase – the Divine Enough)
In looking at Paul I am put in the place where Paul talks about the thorn in his side, that thorn that he prayed would be removed. When it wasn’t, Paul learned from God, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (The Message):
My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size — abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
Putting on the mind of Christ therefore is a gift given to those who believe in Him. I understand that this is not always that easy but I also know the Kingdom is both emerging and not here, But this is the beginning of what it means to be new creation and that makes all the difference I think.
What do you think?
Be blessed and be a blessing.