Leola watches the television in horror! If Sam wasn’t watching the news she would have turned off the television long ago. She is not one for television or even the radio. Silence does not bother her at all but it used too. Leola’s head was a nasty place to be and still is sometimes but now she spends any ‘un-Jesus’ like time with Jesus getting her mind back to His. Leola had a hard mind then it became a soft mind, crying all the time over every little thing. She detested the vulnerability of that soft mind so she prayed for a hard mind again. Jesus taught her how to have His mind no matter what it caused in her emotions. Leola is a thinker who questions everything she feels she needs to know. Terrorism is the subject she wants to know about at this moment. Not specifically terror, but the terrorist. In her mind she is pondering how these people can watch themselves kill. She tries to see through their eyes and cries just thinking about it. They are still talking about it. It is still fresh in the mind of the people who witnessed it. She looks at her husband and asks, “Do these people believe the world will just lay down when they do these things?” His answer, “Yes!” Her response, “Why?” “Drugs!” was Sam’s response.
In David Wilkerson’s book The Cross & The Switchblade, he talks about how gangs are formed and how gang members are kept. One of the gang boys told him loneliness is why the boys and girls are in gangs and drugs is what keeps them there. Leola can believe this is the same mentality of these terrorist groups too. They scan the internet for lonely boys and girls (boys to shoot and girls to sell). They pose as loving friends who just want the best for these lonely children. They convince them, through their loneliness, they would be better with them than the people who hurt them every day. They promise them a love they don’t even give themselves and certainly do not intend to actually give them. Once they have these lonely boys and girls they fill them full of drugs to keep them passive then they brainwash them into thinking no one cares about them. They tell them they are hated by humanity therefore humanity must die. Pumped full of drugs these people do as they are told because now they are filled with the hatred of the gang they live with. Leola’s heart swells with a love for these kids, these terrorist. They need Jesus. He is the only one who can free them from this.
Despite all the publicity to unite we can never unite unless we have the same mind. 1 Corinthians 1:10 implores us to be of the same mind. In the very next chapter Paul tells us we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). If we have the mind of Christ we will unite on every cause as long as it is from Jesus. We are to have sympathy for the world but not stoop to their level to reach them. Gang members are united with the mind of the leader. If gangs are able to do this why can we not do this as Christians? Gangs are effective at using love to draw lonely people in, why are Christians not using the same tactic? Gangs are united in using drugs and bullying to make you stay. The church should use love from the Mind of Christ to make people stay. Love takes a lot of work and the result is pain. From experience I can tell you that not everyone is the same nor do they feel loved the same. I have been hurt many times by the things I have done, out of love or friendliness that were not appreciated by the receiver. If we think about the things Jesus did you can appreciate the pain. Being of the same mind of Jesus is very difficult and hardly popular.
To Jesus Like
Leola was not always of the mind of Christ. She wanted those who used people spitefully to die in their sin. She wanted abusive husbands to be tortured for what they did to their wives. She wanted those who abuse children to be hung. Her mind was not of Christ! God did a great work in healing her heart because of her past. When she started praying for the women of Essex County Jesus let her pray the way she wanted too filled with hatred and terror. Within months He was showing her in His Word how to pray and what to pray. David, in his Psalms, prayed for strongholds to be broken down but God would teach Leola what that means. She began praying for strongholds to be broken down and Jesus taught her they would not stay down unless the one who erected them became saved. Did she want women to remain safe? If so, she needed to pray for the salvation of the abuser, the bully, the gang leader, the terrorist, the ones she had grown to hate. Today, she has compassion for them, but still has a need to know what makes them tick. Sam enlightened her. She had read how drugs were being used and Sam enlightened her of drugs being used during wars by every army. Mind altering ways are being used by people who want to be in control because people are not taking control of their own minds. Pain hurts so we numb it, rejection stings so we defer the plan, lack of control makes us uneasy so we lash out! All of this, Leola thinks, is the cause of the horrors we see on television today. The mind can be a terrible thing and unless we have the mind of Christ our actions will cause great damage. Paul was correct. Until she got the mind of Christ she was all over the place from degrading herself to degrading other people. She could not unite with anyone because she wasn’t united with Christ.
As I united my mind with Christ I became more unpopular with friends and family and church people in general. I had to learn to relay Christ’s mind with a deeper compassion. I needed to learn to relent when someone wouldn’t listen. I needed to let my emotions follow the work of Jesus, be angry when He wanted me to be angry, show love when He saw fit, be indignant when He was and teach what He wanted them to learn. In other words, I needed to learn how to mind His business not mind my own! Minding my own business is what I wanted to do. I don’t want to hurt or cry because that makes me look weak. I don’t want to love my enemy because that makes me look tolerant of their behaviour. I want to push people to do the right thing but that makes me look like a bully. I want to unite with those I agree with but that makes me look double minded. I fight all this nastiness daily as I am sure you do or you will. If we learn to control what we are thinking we can control how we react to what we see on television. We need to have the same mind as Christ to do that. His mind and our mind can be one but we need a starting point. Attempt to do this for a week and see if it helps. When you think of something ‘un-Jesus like’ try to change your mind as quickly as possible to the face of Jesus. I know you have an image in your mind of what Jesus would have looked like – use it. If you haven’t an image, memorize a Psalm. Knowing a full Psalm (I use Psalm 23) is excellent because it takes your mind off the ‘un-Jesus like’ long enough to switch it to ‘Jesus like’. Every Word you know from the Bible gets your mind closer to being of the mind of Christ. We are not just knowing the Word to use it, we are knowing it to live it. The Word of God IS the mind of Christ! At the end of three days, post a comment on this blog to testify how it worked. You can do this!
Mediation Verses for this week: 1 Corinthians 1:10; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2; 1 Peter 3:8; Philippians 4:8; Psalm 23