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It’s All in the Mind: Part 2

By Pastor Royston Smith

A person’s mindset is the set of beliefs they hold regarding abilities and intelligence.

Do you feel that no matter what you do, you always fail?

Others appear to have been born with talents, and you feel that you don’t have what it takes to succeed. This attitude is typical of a fixed mindset. It places limits on one’s potential. On the other hand, a growth mindset is based on the belief that skills and abilities can be developed through effort. The Apostle Paul counsels, For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Phillipians 4:13)

What does a growth mindset look like?

A person with a growth mindset believes their abilities can be developed. Their potential for success is limitless! This attitude helps one to flourish in difficult situations. It empowers one to push beyond the apparent limits of their abilities, in order to develop new and existing skills. In this worldview, failures and setbacks are embraced as opportunities for growth. Criticism is seen as a stepping-stone to success. A Christian life is not easy. We fail. We fall. We flop. We face many difficulties along the way, but these need not derail us. In the book of Proverbs 3:5-6, King Solomon advised, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go. He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.” Run to God! Staying close to Jesus as we go through difficult times, will help us develop a growth mindset.

How does one adopt a growth mindset?

“It is not how good you are; it is how good you want to be.” Paul Arden

As a result of the Nigerian Civil war in 1967, Philip Emeagwali was forced to drop out of school at 13 years of age. He pursued self-study, until he was able to resume formal education. Emeagwali faced financial hardship during his years of study. This served to increase his determination. He took the time to observe bees as they constructed their honeycomb. His findings led to the reconstruction of the computer processing system. As a result of adopting a growth mindset, this Nigerian Inventor was instrumental in developing the internet. How was he able to do this? First, he acknowledged and embraced his many challenges. Second, he viewed those challenges as opportunities. He made the decision to improve and then acted on that decision. Emeagwali had two options; he could choose to be satisfied with his lot in life, or he could choose dissatisfaction, and then allow it to propel him to make progress. He chose the latter.

What part does Jesus play?

Know that Jesus is interested in our success. He sees our failures and our discouragement. He wants to help us make small steps to success. Of greater concern to Jesus, is our spiritual mindset. Is it a fixed or growth mindset?

The fixed mindset suggests that there is no room for growth in the Christian life. Some of us feel spiritually weak. There is a constant struggle to connect with God, and this leaves us feeling spiritually discouraged. With a growth mindset, we recognize that there are different stages of spiritual maturity, and there is always room for improvement. Our spiritual development is only possible with a growth mindset, which is completely dependent on Jesus. Reflect on your response to sinning /making mistakes. Do you find it easier to give up, or are you more inclined to try, try, try again? You will fall, we all do. Just don’t stay down. Never feel that overcoming sin is impossible. Allow Jesus to help you get back up each time you fall. He is always ready to help.

How does one develop a spiritual mindset? What are the necessary steps? Let’s pray:

Dear God, teach me to embrace my imperfections, and to see challenges as opportunities. Let me to choose perseverance. May I trust Jesus to be my greatest mentor. In your name I pray. Amen

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