Did anyone aggravate you at work this week? Were you upset with someone who said something that hurt? Or were you offended in some other way? As long as we live in this world, these kind of things will always happen. It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe to him, through whom they come. (Luke 17:1) Wouldn’t it be great if we could simply not be bothered by this type of thing. I recently read a list that supposedly illustrated the concept of mind over matter. Some of the items listed were fascinating.
- Tibetan monks have been recorded as being able to control their physiological processes like blood pressure and body temperature.
- Sports figures who visualize success at their sport are more often than not actually successful.
- India yogis can slow their heartbeats so much that it is only detectable by an EKG machine.
- The placebo effect where patients are subjected to an inert substance or belief which produces real biological effects.
Okay, while these oddities can be interesting, none of them are going to help me deal with issues that we have with others. No matter how hard I try to think my way through problems with other people, they don’t seem to go away. How do we really put mind over matter in our everyday lives? How do we not let these issues control our lives. How do we not get angry, not hold a grudge, not become bitter, and not hold onto our hurt? The Bible gives us several instructions:
Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry…(Ephesians 4:26) Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (Hebrews 12:15) If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. (Matthew 18:15)
I don’t know about you, but I often have a difficult time following through with these instructions. Especially when I’m trying to follow them on my own. Fortunately, we have a better option. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2) Because of this, a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them…But we have the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:14,16)
Having the mind of Christ gives us the power to overcome personal issues with others. With it we can overcome any negative feelings we may have toward others. Without it, we are simply trying to prove we can achieve mind over matter. With our own minds, it is hit or miss, at best. Impossible at worst.
So, find and follow the mind of Christ.