I was giving some thought to this verse this morning. Like many of you, I have read this verse many times. I've heard sermons and Bible studies on the meaning of these words. Heck, I've even preached a few of those messages. On the surface, it seems like a pretty obvious statement. The Bible is clear that, once we choose to follow Jesus, our hearts and minds are in this process of transformation. God wants us to be like Jesus.
This morning, I had to ask myself this question. Do I really understand what such a transformation can and will do for me?
I like to believe that God is doing something cool in me. I like to believe that I am further in this journey than I was ten years ago...or even last week. But closer inspection causes me to understand what having the mind of Christ really means...and what it would look like if I were even close.
Jesus was unselfish. I tend to fail on that one. Jesus was able to control his emotions and channel those emotions into productive forms. Five minutes of the UGA basketball game last night would have let you know there is still work to be done in this category. Jesus loved His Father and was obedient to death. I'm trying. I really am. But I'm still lacking in this category as well. Jesus talked of loving his enemies and praying for them. Sometimes my prayers for my enemies leave much to be desired. Jesus loved the whole world--all of us--without thought of convenience or comfort or...his own life. I catch myself forgetting that there is even 7 billion other people on this planet.
This, if for no other reason, is why reading the Bible is so important (at least for me). It is that constant reminder that my life is a work in process. I'm moving in the right direction but I haven't arrived. It's a journey. And this journey is pretty much a life-long deal. God's Word encourages me to embrace the changes and to allow Him to do what He does best.
No, I don't have the mind of Christ. Not yet. Not completely. But one of the sweetest promises of Scripture comes from this same letter by Paul.
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. Philippians 1:6 Message