Be Mindful

Philippians 4:2-9

Being mindful means to be aware, to bear in mind. When you are mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings. You are attentive, aware, and you care about the state of your thought life. I want to challenge us all to “think right” about life, God, ourselves, and others. I want us to realize that our growth and development as people and as Christians has a lot to do with how we think and what we allow our mind to dwell on.

Scripture is clear, there is a battle for the mind. The enemy wants to infect and affect the way you think in order to lead you into a destructive trajectory. Notice 2 Corinthians 10:4-5: “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” This scripture underscores that we can have control over our mind through Christ. We can RISE ABOVE wrong thinking and have the mind of Christ.

In Philippians 4:2-9, Paul tells us how to get our mind right and think the way God wants us to think. Here are 3 steps to being mindful.

Step #1: Anchor Your Mind in Christ

  • Philippians 4:2-5 “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.  Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.   Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
  • In these verses, Paul is encouraging Euodia and Syntyche to be of one mind and resolve their conflict. He doesn’t take sides, he pushes for them to have the mind of Christ.
  • It’s a mindset. Am I going to have the mind of Christ and look for resolve and peacemaking? Or am I going to have the mind of self, and quarrel, fight, and be small hearted?
  • The motto of every Christ follower needs to be One Mind/One Mission. The simplest version of a Christ follower’s core values are “I want your mind, Jesus. I want to be about your mission, Jesus.” It’s about being anchored in Jesus.
  • Here are three ways to anchor your mind in Christ:
    • “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
      • Habbakuk 3:17-19; James 1:2; 1 Peter 4:13
      • Rejoicing in the Lord anchors our minds in Christ and focuses our hearts on Him. It reminds us of our mission, which is the mission of Christ, to love others. Not always easy, but always right.
    • “Let your gentleness be evident to all.”
      • To be gentle is to be like Jesus. In order to be like Jesus, we need to think like Jesus. If my mission is to be like Jesus, who was gentle, humble, and selfless, then I aim my mind, train my heart, and submit my spirit to that end and that will be evident.
    • “The Lord is near.”
      • Paul reminds us that life is short and Jesus’ coming is the next big thing to happen. Live in the shadow of His second coming. Live with a sense of urgency to be, think, and relate like Jesus. Don’t let small squabbles continue.
      • In any conflict, be the mature one and start the ball of reconciliation rolling.

Step #2: Guard Your Mind through Christ

  • Philippians 4:6-7  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  • Jesus has provided a sentinel to guard your heart and mind against worry and anxiety. The guard is PEACE. You activate this guard through prayer and petition w/thanksgiving. It can guard you continuously through blizzards, storms, and all sorts of challenges in life.
  • We are all good at one thing. Know what it is? Worry. We are all worry-warts.
    • Anxiety is counter-productive and self-centered worry. Paul points out here that anxiety and prayer are two opposing forces. Thanksgiving is the antidote to worry (along with prayer and petition).
    • Look at this great equation: Trade worry for peace through prayer.
    • The peace of God is not just a psychological state of mind. It is inner tranquility based on peace with God. It is a peace that comes when we give all our cares and sins to Him.
  • “Guard” is a military concept depicting a sentry standing guard. God will stand guard around your anxious heart and give us peace – through the Prince of Peace.
  • If we think long enough about something, it will build a groove or a rut that we can’t break.  It will become a natural and normal default. If we surrender to worry over and over again it will rob our faith, peace, joy.  Rise Above and lift the level of your living by applying the faith lever of thinking like Jesus. Have the mind of Christ.

Step #3: Elevate Your Mind with Christ

  • Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthythink about such things Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in meput it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
  • Paul understood the power of the mind. What you allow to occupy your mind will sooner or later determine your speech and action.
  • Elevate your mind by “Putting it into practice.” As you do so, the peace of God will be with you.
  • Here is how you elevate your mind. You become mindful on how you think and adjust your thinking patterns as follows:
    • TRUE: valid, reliable, honest, honorable, worthy, integrity, truthful.
      • Not untrue, false, deceitful, dishonest, deceptive.
    • NOBLE: real, dignified, serious, holy, respectful.
      • Not superficial, cheap, flippant, insincere.
    • RIGHT: just, upright, conforming to God’s standards, worthy of His approval, serving God, serving others.
      • Not setting our minds on pleasure, comfort, what’s easy at the expense of what’s right.
    • PURE: holy, undefiled, clean, righteous.
      • Not unclean thoughts, soiled living, compromise, lack of conviction, unholy, ungodly.
    • LOVELY: attractive, winsome, pleasing, agreeable, amiable, caring, kind, empathy, I Corinthians 13.
      • Not vengeful, bitter, hateful, mean, angry.
    • ADMIRABLE: good report, gracious, good name, good reputation, and praiseworthy, high standards/God standards.
      • Not ugly, false, impure, evil, carnal.
  • Rise Above and elevate to have the mind of Christ. Live in the world of the virtuous and excellence of thought. It’s your choice.

Paul says to follow his example by getting your mind right. Be mindful on how you think because it goes a long way in influencing the quality of your life, faith, and relationships. Lift the level of your living…lift the level of your relationships…lift the level of your thinking.  Elevate your mind by thinking on these things. Have the mind of Christ.