How can you gain mastery over those areas that have caused you so many problems? The only answer is by having the mind of Christ. The Bible calls it being “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
The word renew comes from a Greek word that means totally renovate. The only way to drive old things out is to push in new things. You don’t renovate your house by adding new furniture, paint and decorations to the old ones. You must replace old the with new. It’s not easy, but it is totally worth it for you as a leader and for the people you serve. Here is how to accomplish it.
You must be born again
By accepting Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior, you enable the Holy Spirit to work in your life. It’s impossible to have the mind of Christ, or a pacesetting leader’s proper attitude, without allowing the Holy Spirit to work in you. And he can’t work in you until you make a conscious decision to accept the gift of salvation Christ provided on the cross.
Accept full responsibility for your mind
I have had to remove myself from certain environments and break off certain relationships because they were exposing me to wrong attitudes and unrenewed thoughts.
One person with a bad attitude can bring down everyone in the room. Likewise, an upbeat person can energize and uplift everyone in a room. Attitudes are contagious and determine the environment. You need to be aware of the actions, words, and ambiance of the people and situations you are exposed to. Be ready to remove yourself from toxic people and settings.
Reevaluate your current thoughts and attitudes in the light of God’s Word
Ask yourself, “Have I been taught wrong?” Sometimes it is hard to recognize if you are operating from your own mind or the mind of Christ. Take a good, hard look at your mental habits, your attitudes, and the fruit you are bearing in your life and area of leadership.
Reject old thoughts when they return
In the Navy, we had a room called the Sperry Gyrocompass Room. In that room was the automatic pilot which guided the ship where it had been programmed to go. Not just anyone could enter that room; you had to have security clearance. The function and safety of that gyrocompass was so critical to the success of the ship’s mission, that if someone sneaked in and tampered with the coordinates, the ship would end up way off course. We could have ended up in Africa instead of Hawaii.
Your mind and heart are like that gyrocompass. They can be programmed to reach God’s destination for your life or some other destination.
The Bible says to guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. Your heart, the deepest part of your being, guides you through life. Before your mind was renewed, your autopilot was programmed to take you to wrong places. When you came to Christ, when you renewed your mind to be more like Christ’s mind, your ability to redirect the autopilot began to grow. It’s a constant struggle, but worth it for every pacesetting leader. Let wrong ideas control your mind and you will never arrive at God’s destination.
Proverbs 4:23 KJV
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23 NLT
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Guard your heart! When you reject thoughts with your conscious mind, they won’t be able to enter your unconscious mind. If you do not reject them with your conscious mind, they will go in and become a part of your unconscious motivations. Reject them before they get inside that autopilot room. Remember, your conscious mind can discern and judge but your subconscious mind cannot.
Speak words in harmony with God’s Word
Your ears love the sound of your voice! When you speak words with your mouth, your mind hears them and gives much more weight to them than anything it hears from someone else. If you repeat a bad report, it goes into your mind and ultimately affects your attitude and actions. If you speak words that do not line up with God’s Words, you open the door to failure.
See and rehearse
Athletes are trained to envision in their minds the game they are about to play. They “see” themselves running their fastest, making the catch, or hitting the ball straight down the fairway. They see themselves succeeding.
I learned about this kind of envisioning when I met with Dr. Paul Cho in 1980 in Orchard Park, New York. He related that when he had just thirteen members in his church, he envisioned having a thousand members. That’s why he preached with his eyes closed. With his eyes open, he saw thirteen. With his eyes closed, he saw a multitude. Eventually, his church grew to the largest Christian church in the world.
I went home from that meeting and I would practice “seeing” myself as a successful pastor. In my mind, I would rehearse a sermon three or four times. That was how I renewed my thinking and my attitude. Not too many years later I was preaching every week to real people, but it all began with letting the mind of Christ permeate my imagination and renew my thinking.
Some people warned me, “To rehearse things in your mind like that is an occult practice! Don’t get into ‘envisioning’ things.” I told them that the devil has a counterfeit for everything, even mental transformation. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t renew our minds. There is a movie screen in your mind and if you don’t put something on it, the devil will. Rehearse the things God puts into your mind as you listen for the thoughts of Christ.
Rehearsing your actions and meditating on your success when it comes to God’s will for your life is not an occult practice; it is a powerful tool that God gives you to ensure that you stay the course.
Go after everything like you’re going to succeed
Nothing of value has ever been accomplished by a person who thought his or her idea was going to fail. Does anyone say, “Well, honey, let’s get married. It probably won’t work out, but we should at least give it a try for a year.” That’s the wrong attitude! The right attitude says, “Let’s get married for life and have a wonderful time together.”
Go into whatever you do expecting 100 percent. When people are sick, pray for them expecting healing. Will you experience success 100 percent of the time? Probably not, because we’re still living in this fallen world. But it’s okay to believe it is possible and to go for it!
When I invite people to come to Christ, I fully expect people to come to Christ. I do not visualize an empty altar. I fully expect people to be transformed by the Son of God. The world will never be drawn to Jesus, the lost will not seek Jesus, unless his followers radiate a joyous, confident, attitude of hope!
Some psychologists say it takes twenty-one days to change a habit. I want you to act as if nothing you do could possibly fail for the next twenty-one days. Some call it acting; I call it faith. Without Christ we can do nothing; through him we can do everything.