It all starts with the way we think. Jesus invites us to change the way that we think.
Ultimately what we think will be betrayed in our words and our actions. It is exhausting to think in a particular way and consistently act to the contrary. Eventually it’s impossible. That’s why Jesus invites us to change the way we think.
Mark 1:15 (ANIV) 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
The Greek work for ‘repent’ is metanoia. It means to change the way you think.
It’s why Paul says we need to be transformed by the ‘renewing of our minds.’
Romans 12:1-2 (ANIV) 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer 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.
Paul is writing to Christians. It was to God’s own people that these words were addressed:
Isaiah 55:8-9 (ANIV) 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
It’s not that Christians think right and others need to think like them. These verses are a reminder that Christians need to change the way they think. That a change in thinking, in understanding is the mark of discipleship.
How has your thinking changed? is a legitimate question to ask someone who is seeking to follow Jesus.
As we start our inside out series we are facing the reality that if we want to change, if we want to be missional, if we want to embrace God’s kingdom more fully then we will have to think differently. This is hard. The way we think about church, the gospel and being a Christian can be deep in our psyche. It certainly is for me. I have been in churches all my life and consequently certain ways of thinking and certain expectations are deeply rooted.
Am I willing to change the way I think?
Am I willing to change the way I think even if I have thought another way all my life?
What did Jesus mean when he said that a follower of his would need to think differently?