“But we have the mind of Christ.”
— 1 Corinthians 2:16c (NRSV)
The mind of Christ is a concept of consummate holiness in thinking—to rise above the salient tempestuousness of the worldly, fallen model of thinking, and to transcend it in thought-provoked actions of a thousand flavours of love; bounded always in truth.
Employing the wider mind is in one massive way, different, but it exhumes the dormant mind of Christ within us and expands upon it, making it not only holy for contemplation, but practical and relevant for our situations-of-life, ensuring our lives are infiltrated by God’s practical wisdom.
Comparing Two Opposite and Incompatible Minds
The mind of Christ, so far as we are concerned, is a theological concept we make real through the use of our wider minds. This is the desire and ability to discern all we perceive God wants us to see: 1) that we would be aware, and 2) that we would act.
If we compare two minds, now, through the use of the figure below, we can see that we commence from worldly pagan thinking, broad in its base to represent our willingness toward idolatry (sin)—when no conviction of the Holy Spirit was borne upon our lives.
Upon salvation, when we first realised our distance from God—the despicability of our sinfulness in the presence of a holy God—we convulsed and quickly desired the mind of Christ. And we were blessed to receive it. Yet, when we were immature, the bandwidth of our Christian thinking was still very thin.
But like the smoke in a smoke-filled room rises to the ceiling and spreads across only then to fill the room, the more we heat our spirituality within the refining furnace of God the wider the mind of Christ we develop. The wider mind of Christ is grown. And what comes of this wider mind is a relationally motivated mindset.
Thinking wise, we become much more tolerant, and our patience is seen in that we do not judge prematurely.
‘AND’ Not ‘OR’ Thinking
The best way of conceptualising the wider mind of Christ is in the capacity to receive and assimilate a broad variety of truth. This is to appreciate, as all should, that truth is truth and nothing else is.
The wider mind of Christ is the ability to consider carefully and astutely all presenting information such that nothing would be ignorantly disregarded or naïvely adopted. The wider mind of Christ is wisdom to delay judgment until the right time.
The wider mind of Christ, therefore, resists taking sides, or developing set views, in doctrinal debates, but is comparatively free to engage in spirited discussion to the ends of edification, and therefore intimacy of relationship between people.
The wider mind of Christ sees the broader perspective and holds to the knowledge that truth often reports in last at rollcall (Matthew 11:19). After most people have taken their sides, the truth comes in as if lagging, embarrassing those who have already believed a lie. Wisdom delays judgment because it respects the truth.
The wider mind of Christ is what God is calling every Christian to. Maturity is not simply holy thinking, but it is a character aligned to holiness and truth. The wider mind of Christ gives us the capacity to see and follow God continually throughout all life (within the obvious constraints of our fallible humanity).
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.