CONTRIBUTED BY ANDREW HART
There are many methodologies and trends in current thinking around learning and development. One of these is to have a growth mindset, as developed by Carol Dweck. To have a Growth mindset is to be flexible, ready to take on challenges, to have an open mind that can relate to new information, and recognises that you can change. Growth mindset is contrasted with a fixed mindset, one that can’t change. I recommend that you have a look at it – it’s a really cool way of approaching a learning challenge.
But the underlying thinking is of course humanism, where you can decide for yourself how you want make changes to your life. While having a growth mindset is good and useful, applying this methodology to spiritual matters is not.
The bible taught us about mindset a long time ago. See Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
Set your mind, Paul says to the Colossians. So, this is a salvation mindset. You can do that. It is possible to have a purposeful setting of the mind towards what God wants us to do.
Paul describes a great contrast between a salvation mindset and a damnation mindset. In verse 8-9 “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.”
Contrast that with verse 12-14 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Both these texts talk about positive actions – what we must be doing. They are about the actions of a Christian with a Salvation Mindset.
Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”
Romans 6:13 “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”
And so many more…
So, what kinds of things do Christians need to set their mind on? Clearly the bible is full of these types of instructions. They invoke actions, choices, deliberate things to do.
Let’s be purposeful in doing this, understanding of course that it is not possible to do this in your own strength. Putting off the old man, and putting on the new requires prayer, submission, faith, and perseverance.
I wish you well in developing your Salvation Mindset.