Last week this month’s blog began a short series on achieving and maintaining a moving mindset. This topic was chosen because it has been written and observed that many in Christian walks earnestly try to apply strategic biblical principles and steps within every project. The word try is used above, because there are obvious times when completely applying God’s word into daily work and life is really not apparent. Many willing to speak on this issue find that in recognition of this lack they are eventually led to change business applications and concepts to meet what God intended. The business leader focused on wealth, becomes more acquainted with the teachings of Jesus and she/he becomes a bit more compassionate in daily dealings. In addition, some church leaders are led to return to the gospel of Christ and the accurate teachings of his words more now than ever.
So why are every Christian, secular leader or individual expressing their daily lived experiences, often challenged by a stuck mindset? In response to this question when recently asked in casual conversations over lunch, two business owners equally shared that this challenge comes when they do not honor the person God has made them to be. But instead, they follow the footsteps of people who are not like them. Each added that in addition, there are even moments when they emulate those who seem to be on the right path but find out later, these individuals are not. One person shared, its like being in an unbreakable comfort zone.
The apostle Paul reminds us to hold on to a heavenly mindset (Colossians 3:1-4). A heavenly mindset is one focused on heavenly gifts not necessarily obtained only by works, but likewise by faith, and the daily applications of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Every fruit Paul mentioned starts with the complete collaboration of body and spirit. They can also be interjected in life by how every member of society is viewed. This includes individual personal perceptions. A stuck mindset can also be one construed as being bias toward those in everyday settings or even sparked by the notion of one’s own abilities. Think now of how a homeless person can be viewed. This person God made, who has no place to sleep but under a cardboard box to stay warm on frigid evenings. Or perhaps the single mother who tries to be home to help her children with their homework, but instead must go to her third job to feed them. What can be immediate perceptions, specifically when unknown circumstances created each person’s situation?
According to several research studies, bias involves mindsets, behaviors, and actions that are discriminatory in favor of or contrary to one person or group compared to another. For the many church denominations in the world, bias exist in the sense that in every faith tradition beliefs and customs take precedence over the beliefs of others. Ministers who deny this bias, may not have come to understand the real meaning of the word. Therefore, to say bias does not exist within the church body, is mind-stagnancy. For a mindset to consistently change, acknowledging there exist errors and unawareness, as blockage to grow intellect, is paramount.
According to Andrew M. Coleman, intellect describes the process of identifying the ability of the mind to reach appropriate assumptions about what is real and what is misleading, and about how to resolve obstacles. The word intellect derives from the Greek philosophy term, nous. Nous translates to Latin as intellectus (from intelligere, which means to understand). In the English and French languages, it simply means to understand. Therefore, in everyday language, the words intellect and intelligence, cojoin.
In some weekly church sermons, it has been frequently noted that the Bible exceeds the intellectual mind. In partial agreement, this statement is highly considered, here. Yet, it is important to take into regard the real meaning of the word intellect, noted above. To embrace a framework of anti-intellectual in church settings, is one of the most severe approaches when it comes to completely understanding (intelligere) the words of God. This ideology could once again stunt growth. In business concepts, when the leader of an organization holds the thesis of “his way or no way”, again the framework of anti-intellectual, is sometimes quite evident.
A moving and transformative mindset is not always easy to adhere to. Here are a few simple ideas to possibly assist in taking that first step:
- Christian leaders- follow the real words of God. The church began on the theology of Christ. Not on ideas made up by the people around him. He professed the words of God written in the Old Testament. His speech to God was not to demand from God. He just asked his Father. When the real teachings of Christ is established in Christian communities, the mind shifts to the authenticity of who He is.
- Business leaders- get out of your comfort zone especially in the contexts of “change is not necessary” or “if it is not broken why worry”. The thing is, because of ingrained habits, it may be exceedingly difficult to see change is needed with no self confrontation.
- Christian leaders- seek out other leaders in the church who appear to be following God’s words. Allow these individuals to speak on their weaknesses and strengths. One primary question to ask yourself before requesting a meeting is “Does this leader begin a sermon with a life experience or begin with the Bible verse chosen for the day.” When you derive at an answer, ask yourself, which one is of the most importance to you.
- Business leader-find another leader who positively directs in a way that is quite the opposite from you. Then ask this individual for a meeting.
- All leaders-reframe every mistake as a teachable moment.
- All leaders-remember there is always something to learn.
- All leaders- trust the talent you have and find areas to use this talent in productive and compassionate ways.
A moving mindset in every aspect of life does not usually happen overnight. Nonetheless, it is in recognizing that change is needed… that something has to give, the process begins. In this frame things become more obvious that one foot or one thought forward is the only route to arrive to the evolving mindset sought after.