Having the Mind of Christ

We have three adult children, and we are quite proud of them. It is a pleasure to see how, each in their own way, they reflect the values which were a part of their upbringing.

It's a little bit like James 4:5, which says that God longs for his Spirit to dwell in his children. It's not just that God wants us to be saved and to be filled with his Spirit. It also brings him pleasure when our thinking reflects his Wisdom.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 2, Paul writes about how the Wisdom of God is very different from what is commonly considered to be wisdom. And he ends the passage with this statement:

But we have the mind of Christ.
(1 Cor 2:16b NIV)

So what does that look like?

One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Proverbs 8, where a person called Wisdom is describing themself.

To start with, Wisdom appears to be female. And yet, the contrast from the treacherous woman of the previous chapter is huge. Wisdom is calling out, inviting anyone and everyone to partake of her fruit: prudence, righteousness, truth, justice and knowledge.

It is a lot like what the Prophet Isaiah said:

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
(Isaiah 55:1-2 NIV)

One gains wisdom by "eating" what is good. Jesus put it even more bluntly in John 6:27-58, when he said that we need to be consuming his very essence.

In this world, knowledge is typically gained through study and understanding. But the Wisdom of God is gained through relationship with that Person who is Wisdom. It is by looking into the ways of his heart that we learn to think the way that he thinks.

The heart of GodGetting back to Proverbs 8...

From verse 20, we begin to see the origins of Wisdom. This person, the Wisdom of God, was brought forth from the Lord prior to the creation. This can be none other than the Only Begotten Son, in whom, through whom and for whom all things have been created (see Col 1:16 and Heb 1:2). And then Wisdom says a most amazing thing:

Then I was beside Him, as a master workman; 
And I was His delight daily,
Playing always before Him,
Playing in the world, His earth,
And having my delight in the sons of mankind.
Now then, sons, listen to me,
For blessed are those who keep my ways.
(Prov 8:30-32 NASB with footnote)

Wisdom, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, says that among his ways are delight and playfulness. And that there is blessing in following those ways.

This leads me to conclude that having the mind of Christ has a lot to do with delight and playfulness in our relationship with God.

Digging deeper

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