I generally demonstrate a decent amount of common sense. I often think in fairly logical ways. And I kind of like that. I like being logical and using common sense. It seems smart. Safe. Comfortable.
But the other day God threw me for a loop. When you ask for the “mind of Christ,” [1 Corinthians 2:16] exactly what do you think you are actually asking for?
I pondered His question. I thought about how wise and quick-witted Jesus was. But I also thought about the many times He defied “common sense” and “logic.” Often it seems that the only thing you could predict about Him was His unpredictability.
He touched people with contagious diseases (Matthew 8:1-3).
He commanded His disciples not to take provisions for their journey (Luke 10:4).
He chose as His apprentices men whom most people considered to be losers (Acts 4:13).
He insisted that we have to die in order to live (Matthew 16:25).
He offended important people—and didn’t even seem concerned about it (Matthew 15:12-13).
He preferred the company of prostitutes and crooks to that of important religious people (Matthew 11:19).
He rebuked His devoted friend for sticking up for Him—twice! (Matthew 16:23; John 18:10-11)
So why, when I ask God for the mind of Christ, do I expect that He will make me smart in primarily respectable, prudent, polite, and understandable, ways? Even Jesus’s own family thought He was “out of His mind” (Mark 3:21). Is that the “mind of Christ” I’m signing up for?
As you can imagine, I’ve had some interesting conversations with God about this. He has messed with my rational, logical, efficient, common sense thoughts: thoughts about stewardship (see last week’s post), voting (I can’t say anything more—at least not in this crazy election year) talking to strangers, handling interruptions, responding to social invitations, dealing with work situations, accepting criticism.
I’m paying more attention these days to my gut reactions, intuition, emotions, and wild ideas. Not that I run with every one—that’d be crazy! But I’m realizing that ignoring them (as I usually do) might be just as crazy. So I’m trying to take those “less logical” thoughts and feelings and ask God about them. Is that You, God? Are You wanting me to notice something here? Or to act in an out-of the-box way? Then speak, because I’m listening!
So far, it’s promising to be an interesting ride. But why did I ever think having the mind of Christ would be predictable?