(this teaching can also be watched by scrolling to the bottom and clicking play)
Is there an area of your life that is just not working? What role does mindset play in that?
Does it matter if our mindset changes? A good definition of mindset is the perspective you see, experience and travel through the world with. It is the lens you use to interpret observations, actions, relationships and beliefs. In other words, mindsets are assumptions. These assumptions prepare you for experiences and expectations.
For example, there’s a mindset that believes any healthy food doesn’t taste good. That’s a fixed mindset. Here’s another, reading the Bible is boring. Here’s another, cancer is a catastrophe. Those are examples of closed, fixed mindsets.
The opposite is a growth mindset, a renewed mind.
That renewed mind may say that facing a cancer diagnosis can help us learn, grow and be stronger. A renewed mind will say Bible reading is interesting when you know how to read through the Scriptures.
Paul had a lot to say about the old mindset and why it is so critical.
Ephesians 4:22 says, “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”
Paul says that you cannot live the new life with an old mindset. You just can’t. By throwing off your old, sinful nature, you’re throwing off the old mindset. And so he uses the word “throw-off.” And in the original Greek, in which the New Testament is written, throw-off means to lay aside, put away, put off and put down. The imagery was like throwing aside worn and old clothes that you couldn’t wear anymore.
Paul says if you want to see your mindset change because your mindset matters, you’ve got to throw off the old. You need to throw it away and put it aside because it’ll just stifle and stop you from moving towards a place God’s calling you to.
Philippians 4:13 says, “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.” Paul’s mindset is this: I don’t care what I have to go through, I don’t care what situation I’m in; I can face anything and everything because of the power Christ gives me. What a phenomenal mindset.
I love being around people with that kind of perspective and orientation. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Your mindset matters. That’s why you must renew your mind by being open to learning and growing. There are two ways to look at life: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
A fixed mindset says I can’t do this and gives up very quickly.
A growth mindset says I’ll try another approach.
A fixed mindset avoids challenges and says quitting is the safest route.
A growth mindset embraces challenges.
A fixed mindset ignores feedback and avoids criticism because it’s too unpleasant.
A growth mindset welcomes feedback because it is part of greater personal development.
A fixed mindset says I made a mistake, and they retreat into a cocoon.
A growth mindset says mistakes help me grow because I learned to develop strategic reasoning skills.
A fixed mindset gives up easily because they see failure as the end of the road.
A growth mindset sees the effort as a path forward because failure is a signpost on the road to destiny.
I love what the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali said about mindset, “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them, a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina. They have to be a little faster. They have to have the skill and the will, but the will must be stronger than the skill.”
What kind of mindset do you have?
Do you realize that mindset matters?
Mindset is critical to being aligned with your destiny. And it may require some hard work, maybe even harder than you are accustomed to. But guess what? Not only is it worth it, but if God gives you this dream, this heart, this visionary appetite, it means you have some good stuff inside of you that’ll give you the fuel to get you to where God has called you to go in regards to your destiny.
You have to have that kind of fortitude. That’s why Ali says you need more will than skill.
Mindsets can change.
Most people don’t achieve their dreams because they’re unwilling to change their mindsets. The Bible teaches that mindsets can change. Romans 12:2 makes it very plain, Paul says, “Do not become like the people who belong to this world. But let God completely change the way you think, so that you live differently. Then you will understand what God wants you to do. You will know what is good. You will know what pleases God. You will know what is completely right.”
Paul is telling us that the way you think affects who you become and affects what you can do. People can change your mindset. And Paul is telling us if you hang around people with worldly views and values that don’t include God, you’re going to need a significant transformation in your mindset because you’re allowing your values to be tainted and shaped by the irreligious who have no place for God in their lives and no sense of ethical and moral convictions.
Paul is saying, don’t let those individuals be the ones that shape your values. He’s not saying you can’t be friends with the irreligious, but don’t let their values become yours. The moment you adopt their values and outlook, it affects how you act, what you believe and what you trust God for.
There’s nothing wrong with having irreligious friends, but you have to ensure that your values and mindset are all honoring God.
What else causes you to change your mindset? Words and self-talk. What do you say to yourself? Your words create a world. They shut people out, or they bring people in. They repel, or they draw them in. Changing your words can not only change your mindset, but it can also change people’s mindsets towards you. Words change mindsets. What are you saying to yourself?
What are you saying to yourself? What’s your self-talk like?
Are you saying to yourself that my parents didn’t raise me with the right ingredients for me to be successful? I’m a product of my parents’ lack. People like me can never improve.
Are you looking at the things in your life, the way you need to look at them, in a growth mindset? Or do you have a fixed mindset?
You’ve got to stretch yourself. You have more capacity, more growth, more potential. You have to fulfill God’s calling on your life. Think of yourself as a steward, a manager over your gifts, life and future. You are actively involved in helping create that.
Mindsets can change.
Change your mindset.
If you change your mindset, in what way would the past failures you’ve experienced help catapult you into a new level of success? Paul gives us some answers in Philippians 4:6-8, “Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and request while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable.”
When I look at what Paul said to the Philippians, I can break it up into two clear categories of actions we can take that will change our mindsets from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
Prayer changes your mindsets. It is not even talking about the answer to prayer. It’s just the act of prayer. When you invite God into your circumstance, it shifts your mindset. You are now expecting a change to occur; you are now expecting strategy, wisdom and insight. You are now expecting an answer. It turns your circumstance into a God opportunity, and you no longer feel like there’s a roadblock.
That perspective gives you peace. When you pray and God answers, you won’t say this was coincidental. No, you will see the direct cause—you prayed and God responded. You asked God and He answered you. That builds your faith, and it causes God to be glorified even more. There is nothing so complicated that God can’t address.
The second way, Paul tells us, is what we think about.
Paul gives us eight things to think about. When you think about these eight things, it changes your mindset and your perspective and changes you. When mindsets change, you change.
Think about whatever is right. What’s right in the world in your life that you know about? Think about that. Think about whatever deserves praise. What’s praiseworthy? Think about the things that are true. What’s true? Think about the things that are honorable. Think about the things that are fair. Paul says to think about things that are pure. Think about things that are acceptable. And think about things that are commendable.
Why not now have an open mindset and a growth mindset by letting your mind think about just eight things? And Paul says that you are changed when you think about these eight things.
This week take time and memorize Philippians 4:13, “I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.” What would happen if this became your mindset? No matter what comes your way, you have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives you.
Pray this prayer with me. Holy God, help me to have a growth mindset. Show me the areas of my mindset that require a radical change. Bring people into my life and words into my life that’ll help me make the change. I want to please you, Lord, in the way I think, in my mindset and in the actions that follow. I ask you these things in Christ’s name.