The new you… a new mindset
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5 ESV)
When the Bible speaks of “the flesh,” it is talking about the old you. The you that thought of yourself first and foremost. The you that did what you want, said what you want, thought what you want. It was in your very nature to be self-interested, self-serving, self-satisfying. Your thoughts of others came in a distant second place – especially when a moral choice was right in front of you.
The Bible also tells us WHY this is the case. It is because the “old you” sets your mind “on the things of the flesh.” This means that your thoughts are constantly being filtered through what is in your own self interests. The “things of the flesh” are centered in our desire for unlimited pleasure, self-gratification, getting what we want – and even getting what we think we deserve. And when we are not gratified, in these things… let’s just say that our actions and reactions do not reflect the best of us!
This forms the arena for the battle. For even Christians can still live by the “old you.” I am often surprised at how easy it is to take off the new, and put on the old. It’s just easier to live by the old me. It’s what I’m used to doing. It just feels more like… me.
And that is the problem. There is something buried deep within us that wants to cling to our old identity – hang on to what is familiar and oddly comfortable. Though we tend to hate what we are when the “old you” is in charge!
In contrast, the “new you” draws us to go beyond ourselves – to live in a new identity. This new identity has been provided for us. It resembles our Maker. It actually desires to please His Heart – and to glorify His Name.
This is why our minds must be transformed. We must be able to leave behind the old to embrace the new. The old must be put away before the new can be put on. The old will always run back to our default mode… self first, and foremost.
As Christians, we all must see ourselves differently – think about ourselves differently. God has provided us with a new identity – and a new way of thinking about our selves. God’s provision lines up with His vision for our lives. His provision enables us to be the person He created us to be… right now!
If we will align our minds with what Jesus has done for us – we can all live in the fullness of our Creator’s purpose. We can escape the constant pull of the gravity of “the flesh” and live in the new way of “the spirit.” (see Romans 7:6; Hebrews 10:20)
In the days ahead, we are going to turn to Jesus for some “show and tell.” He wants us to know all about our new identity as new creations. And if we will allow our thinking to be transformed, we will see ourselves become the miracle that He bought and paid for…
Prayer focus: God, help me to set my attention on being what you have made me to be – seeing myself as You see me – because of Jesus’ work on my behalf.