Aloha Friday Message – September 25, 2020 – Do Our Minds Mind?

2039AFC092520 – Do Our Minds Mind?

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    Philippians 2:5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus 

    Colossians 3:2-4 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. My family and I thank you for the many comments of support made as we celebrate the Life of Paula Lee Belau-Todd. Such expressions of love and caring are deeply appreciated and demonstrate how we can indeed be like-minded in things that are important to everyone’s heart. Being like-minded can be pretty tough these days. There’s an old adage about not having too coins to rub together; it is an expression of extreme poverty. Today, I feel we can paraphrase that by saying some folks haven’t two kind thoughts to rub together. I heard another paraphrase regarding all the violence surrounding us that said something about two brain cells. It is very difficult in some places to find someone with whom we agree on virtually everything. I’d like to pursue that a bit today, so let’s start off with some of the ways we use “mind.” I was surprised at how may idioms there are that are based on that word. Here we go!

Mind – Noun

  1. Awareness of self to think, feel, choose
  2. Intellect
  3. Attention or attentiveness
  4. The seat of reason, remembrance, and imagination

Mind – Verb

  1. Care, object, careful
  2. Show concern; ascribe importance
  3. Express cautionary warning
  4. Obedience and/or remembrance
  5. Watch over
  6. Follow an inclination to act

And we all recognize these expressions:

  • Bear in mind – apply learned precepts to actions
  • Be of two minds – duplicitous, uncertain, indecisive
  • Be of one mind – concurrence, share an opinion, consensus
  • Closed mind – decline to acknowledge or consider
  • Come to mind – to remember or create a thought or idea
  • Don’t mind – accept an offer
  • A piece of mind – usually an angry castigation
  • Peace of mind – resolution or acceptance
  • A mind to act – an inclination to behave in a certain way
  • In my mind’s eye – imagined view or viewpoint
  • On my mind – reoccupied with someone or something
  • Out of my mind – crazy, loss of mental sense

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Do you mind? Why won’t you mind? Mind your manners. Make up your mind. Mind your P’s and Q’s. Mind the cat. Mind your parents. Don’t mind me. Mind if I cut in? Don’t you mind? My mind is blank. Keep in mind what I said.

That last one, for me, is a keeper because in it I hear Jesus talking to my heart and my mind. “Remember what I told you.” “Do this in remembrance of me.” And the most important thing he said:

John 13:34 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. And John 15:12 12 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

I’m going to pull up something from 1844AFC110218 – Me First that addresses that. I invite you to follow that link to see the full context.

Leviticus 19:18b … you shall love your neighbor as yourself

Romans 13:8b … the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Which is the above commandment in Leviticus.)

1 John 3:11 11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

1 Corinthians 16:14 14 Let all that you do be done in love.

1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:16 16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it.

What, then, is the same mind – the same attitude some translations say – that was in Christ? “Love each other as I have loved you.”  When he says “as I have” it means just as, or in the same way asin Greek καθὼς [kathos] (kath-oce) – in exactly the same manner, to precisely the same degree, to the complete extent, and in a way that is identical to HIS LOVE. We could go back to the identity expression we have used in the past when we said

LIGHT ≡ GOD ≡ LOVE ≡ TRUTH ≡ WAY ≡ LIFE ≡ FOREVER

We can therefore understand Jesus is telling us it should be

YOUR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER MY LOVE FOR YOU

This is a tough one for anyone to deal with, especially one who takes seriously (or at least makes an honest effort to) the command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” I am here to tell you that if I am to be the measuring stick of love, most of the rest of the world is not going to appreciate the way I love them; I’m not particularly fond of me most days, and that makes the folks around me come up a bit short of what love they deserve. I came to a little better resolution of this question – how do I love me – in C. S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity. In Book 3, Chapters 7 & 9,  Lewis discusses how this kind of love does not necessarily mean we view our enemy as a nice person. In fact, if we are going to lovingly forgive (or forgivingly love) or enemies, we have to lovingly forgive the main operator in this transaction: Us. If I cannot forgive me, cannot love me, cannot be in the same room as me without being completely irritated by being stuck with ME, then I can be pretty sure that genuinely loving someone else who irritates me is going to be such a big challenge that I will certainly see the value of “throwing in the towel.”

I cannot in good conscience do that because it means giving up on the Love and Forgiveness I have in Christ Jesus. This is because we must remember that Love is not a feeling – it is an action. I may not feel all that good about my own behavior or feel affection for some rioter tearing about town like a maniac, but I can desire to think well of myself for at least trying to do the right thing. That is loving myself by wanting what is best for my well-being – or to put it more clearly, I love myself best when I do things for me that make me well. If we think about that, we can love our neighbors in that same way – we work for those things which will keep them well. I don’t (probably won’t) claim an anarchist as a bosom buddy, but s/he can certainly be included in my prayers for Peace, for understanding among all persons and Peoples, and thereby be valued as created by God. If God values that person, so must I. Except, I forget that way too often!

When I forget to love others as Christ has loved them, always looking for the Good in and for them, I do not simply overlook their failings and run over to give them a hug. We know that, for some folks, that is the very thing they abhor because, as the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus, Titus 1:15 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. We think differently, and – wouldn’t you know it – the Apostle Paul covers that as well in Philippians 3:14-16 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. 16 Only let us hold fast to what we have attained. Do you ever find that all the truly difficult things going on around the World just occupy your thoughts nearly constantly? Wouldn’t it be great if we had something or someone else to keep in mind? How about this? Colossians 3:2-4 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. We are, in these perilous times, assaulted from every side by evil, by natural and man-made disasters, by disease, war, famine, fear, and even by our own consciences. It can seem as if this is the worst the World has ever been, and that if it got any worse, it would surely trigger “The Last Days,” that eschatological event every Christian expects (and probably, because of conscience, dreads). I’m going to stick in another link here because it will lead you to a 16-verse passage I entreat you to read: Romans 1:16-32. I posted that passage to Facebook last week; it was pretty much ignored. Nonetheless, if you will (PLEASE) read it, you will recognize many of the things that are happening right now, today, right in our midst. The sort of people who do the things the Apostle Paul describes in that passage live all around us. Some of them are family members, some of them are friends, some of them are neighbors, and – most regrettably – some of them are us. What then shall we do, or what can we do?

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.Love one another as I have loved you.” (↔ Music Link) We must not give our hearts over to feelings of compassion that stop just short of being love-in-action. Instead, we must and can press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Do you mind doing that for yourself? Would you mind doing that for me? Can we, together, mind what Jesus said about Love? Do our minds mind – do they matter, do they obey, do they love, do they help hope … do they? To master the question of how our hearts and minds can be held in that Peace which surpasses all understanding (← Check it out!), we can all benefit from this very powerful prayer which millions use every day to reaffirm the Love of God, the love of self, and the love of one another:

Belovéd, do you mind sharing this post with other minds? Thanks. Because  14 Let all that you do be done in love.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever —
at your service, Belovéd!

Please pray with us here at Share-a-Prayer.

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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