Understanding True Repentance; Part Three: Broccoli Theology

As we have seen, when it comes to repentance, the New Covenant is established upon the need for a change in our thinking.To receive the Kingdom of God, we are first required to lay aside our old way of thinking and embrace an entirely new way. This new way of thinking may be primarily understood as a new mindset, or HOW we go about thinking, and making the decisions, of our daily lives. A mindset is comprised of our observations and conclusions about God, ourselves, and about life, in general. Our mindset forms the “filters” for how we see the world around us (our worldview) and how we interact with both God and other people. The great hope of the Almighty King is that His New Covenant People would embrace His Own worldview and would adopt His Own manner of interaction, both with Him and with the people we meet every day. Christians are remarkably called, and equipped, to be imitators of God. This was the command of the inspired apostle: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children…” (see Ephesians 5:1) God’s way of doing things, and His Own mindset, was vividly demonstrated for us through our Lord Jesus. He was, literally, God with us – so that we might actually observe Who God is, how God thinks, and what He is really like. (As we will discover, in future discussions, to be a true Christian means that we carry on this living divine demonstration – God within us, revealing Himself as He really is, through our everyday lives [just as Jesus did!]). But it is our mindset that directs and shapes how we will act, react, and interact in this world in which we live. Our mindset is critical!

To illustrate the critical nature of our mindset, let me use an absurd allusion…

Let us suppose that we know someone who believes, with all his heart, that eating broccoli is mandatory for eternal life and happiness. (After all, broccoli is green [the color that often represents life] and it is a cruciferous vegetable [it’s flower petals form the shape of the cross; “so it must be divinely ordained for our health and happiness!”]). Because his mind has become so fixed upon this conclusion, about the importance of broccoli, all his life’s choices, actions and reactions are greatly affected by this core belief. We observe that he will, most likely, eat broccoli at every meal (and for some meals, eat ONLY broccoli). He will teach his children, and grandchildren, of the vital importance of broccoli, and they will be required to eat it at the family’s mealtimes. He will be openly vocal in sharing his views on broccoli with his friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others – in the passionate hope that they will also be drawn to his conclusions and embrace his broccoli beliefs. Those who reject his beliefs, that broccoli is the source of life and happiness, he will disregard, disdain, or avoid. Those who refuse to eat broccoli, he will dismiss as ignorant, misguided or evil. Those who attempt to correct his thinking, he will chastise or openly attack. Because he has concluded that broccoli is essential to his life, his mind is set on this conclusion, and his thoughts, decisions, and interactions flow directly from his mindset. The course of his life, quite literally, is formed and established by his “broccoli theology.”

Now, I know of nobody who believes that broccoli, while quite good for you, is essential to eternal life and happiness. No one (of whom I am aware) believes in such absurdities. But the point is, that whatever we set our minds upon, whether it be truth or fabrication, becomes the determining factor in how we will live, choose, and act, and how we will be perceived and received. What our minds are fixed upon, shapes and determines our lives – regardless of whether or not our beliefs are actually true.

The important thing, especially for all Christians, is that what we believe be true. The only assurance that we are on any road that will lead us to where we honestly want to go depends upon the accuracy of the information in which we are trusting – or the reliability of the guide who is directing us. The promise of the Kingdom of God is that the One Who is True (John 14:6) has provided a way for us all to live in a deeply personal and constant relationship with Him. He has also provided us with the Scriptures (God-inspired, “God-breathed;” [see 2 timothy 3:16-17]) to open our eyes to, and verify, His truth. And He has also provided us with an incomparable Guide, the Holy Spirit, Who is given to us to lead us into all truth (John 16:13). Our way of thinking, our mindset, must fully align with the King and His Kingdom’s ways. This is what Jesus came to tell us. This is what He came to make readily available to us.

But everything begins with a true repentance. So much of what God would like to do for us, in us, and through us, can be debilitated by our own degrees of “broccoli theology.” Any and every conclusion we may have adopted along the way, that does not truly reflect the King and His ways, can, and does, become a barrier to truth – and to what God is wanting to do in and through us.

This is why Jesus came preaching the message: “Repent and believe in the gospel.” It is only when we come to the point where we desire only to know the King and His ways that we are ready to enter, and experience, the fullness of the Kingdom of God…

 

Coming next… The importance of revelation in forming our thinking…

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About theheartseeker

I have spent years studying the Scriptures and seeking for God's answer to the question: What IS true Christianity? Let me share some answers with you...
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