“Sorry, I changed my mind.” I am sure many of us have heard that sentence, and it comes from a place of repentance: a place that Jesus said is essential to entering the Kingdom of God. Ah, but ‘I changed my mind’ can also come from another place!
St. Paul has written “Put on the mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:5). So, what does that have to do with changing one’s mind? For me, it means swapping my present state of mind or opinion for a different one. For example, perhaps I have a favorite recipe and I think it is the best way to cook that dish. Someone then offers me some additional information and, just like that, I change my mind on my recipe, adding something new and making it even better. Seems simple, right? When it comes to some things, I’m not so sure about that; if we are talking about changing or putting on the mind of Christ, it may cost us something more than we expect. Any change can be a challenge!
So how do I change my mind? Practice, practice, practice! That old mindset will continue to rear its head and want to remain the same. Whose mind do we have on? Putting on the mind of Christ requires one to look at how we operate, how we make our judgements, our thoughts, and even our dreams. One way to do this is to daily spend some quality quiet time in prayer. We live in a world that is so busy, and we are tempted to fill every moment with activity. Recently someone shared with me this story about their grandson. While picking up the other grandchildren, the grandmother was surprised to see him waiting for her to arrive.
“I thought you had Scouts this afternoon?” she said.
His response was noteworthy: “I have Scouts now, and then football at five. I need a break!”
Oh, the wisdom of a child!
At times we need the wisdom of another person to help us put on the mind of Christ, perhaps a good friend, a parent, a colleague, or a spiritual director. The quiet time and advice we give one another can help us ‘change our mind set’. We need to be willing to do it.
Can we put on the mind of Christ when asked to volunteer for something? Or does the old mind say, “You are not qualified, you don’t have enough time, someone else can do it!” Are you willing to listen to another’s opinion, really listen, without forming your rebuttal?
So, you see ‘changing your mind’ is really not so easy, but it is possible, especially if you want to live the life that is alive not only for yourself but for others and this world. Listen to the advice of our young friend and ‘take a break’, make that mind change, and I think in the long run you will be as glad for the change as the people whose lives you have affected. Have a great week.
Till next week,