REACTING TO CIRCUMSTANCES
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
. . . External things and events are the raw material only; the finished product is whatever the mind makes of these.
Judas Iscariot and John the Beloved lived in the same world, but how differently they interpreted it. The same may be said of Cain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, Saul and David.
From these we learn that circumstances do not make men; it is their reaction to circumstances that determines what kind of men they will be. What then can we Christians do?
The answer is, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phpns. 2:5). “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5). The mental stuff of the Christian can be and should be modified and conditioned by the Spirit of Christ which indwells his nature. God wills that we think His thoughts after Him.
The Spirit-filled, prayerful Christian actually possesses the mind of Christ, so that his reactions to the external world are the same as Christ’s. He thinks about people and things just as Christ does. All life becomes to him the raw nectar which the Spirit within him turns into the honey of paradise. Yet this is not automatic. To do His gracious work God must have the intelligent cooperation of His people. If we would think God’s thoughts we must learn to think continually of God. “God thinks continuously of each one of us as if He had no one but ourselves,” said Francois Malaval; “it is therefore no more than just if we think continuously of Him, as if we had no one but Himself.”
As Kate Wilkinson put it: "May the mind of Christ, my Savior, live in me from day to day, by His love and power controlling all I do and say. May the love of Jesus fill me as the waters fill the sea; Him exalting, self abasing—this is victory."
Change my thinking, Lord, then shall I be changed.