By Pastor Royston Smith
“Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.” Romans 12:2
A spiritual mindset is one that is completely under God’s control. The mind is like a computer. Its output is dependent on its input. Likewise, a person with a spiritual mindset has a positive influence on others. This is the result of God’s input. “Nothing could ever matter again but that which is eternal,” wrote Amy Carmichael. Here are some steps for developing a spiritual mindset.
Start each day reading the Bible
Our greatest source of spiritual food is the Bible. It provides nourishment to the spirit as does food to the body. Reading the Bible connects us to God and helps us discover His plan for our lives. We can find the solution to all our daily challenges in the Bible. Without our daily dose of Scripture, it will be difficult for us to experience peace, amid our daily challenges. Starting the day by reading the Bible affords us an opportunity to have uninterrupted time with God. We can share our plans and challenges with Him, and listen for His direction. According to N. T. Wright, “The Bible is the book of my life. It’s the book I live with, the book I live by, the book I want to die by.”
Cultivate the habit of daily prayer
Prayer is our personal channel to God. It provides the opportunity for a two-way conversation – talking, as well as listening to God. Starved of air, we will die. Without prayer, our spiritual connection with God also dies. Prayer is the secret to spiritual power. As we spend time in prayer, our thoughts, attitudes and actions begin to ‘look’ like God’s. He becomes our closest friend. We will value God’s opinion and seek to please Him.
Learn to forgive
In the Gospel according to Matthew 6: 12, it says, “Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others” (Message Bible). Learning to forgive is an integral part of growing a spiritual mindset. Forgiving ourselves frees us from past guilt and enables us to forgive others. This isn’t easy; but it is a habit that must be developed. God enables us to release those who have hurt us in the past. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Being able to forgive becomes easier as our spiritual mindset grows.
An attitude of gratitude increases our spiritual mindset. We need to recognise that all good things come from God. Being thankful, even in difficult circumstances, lifts us from despair. The challenges we face, present an opportunity for us to depend on God. Let’s thank Him for the ‘growing pains’. Gratitude re-focuses our attention on God. As our spiritual mindset develops, we will truly value God’s amazing gift – Jesus. Furthermore, a grateful attitude reveals who controls our minds. That is why King Solomon wrote, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4: 23). God offers us real and lasting hope, which gets us through difficult struggles in life. Gratitude shapes hope, hope fosters relationships, and relationships build God’s kingdom!
This refers to the way by which we bless others. A spiritual mindset is one of service; it adds strength and gives hope to those in need. Our acts of service aid and lift their spirits, as well as alleviate any distress. This can take many forms; it could be a word of encouragement, a note, a text, an email, lending a helping hand or offering some practical support. Serving others means exercising meekness—even to those who we feel are undeserving. The wonderful thing about service is the way it manages to bless both the giver and the recipient. We are often tempted to ignore a need, because we have troubles of our own. Choosing to serve is exactly what Jesus would do.
Dear God, Thank you for the guidance found in the Bible. Teach me how to pray. Please help me to forgive. Let me enjoy a life of service. May my spiritual connection with you grow stronger day by day. In Jesus’ name. Amen