Gobs of Christians – myself included – do dumb things. We say dumb things and execute dumb decisions.
Every time I talk to someone who was offended by a hurtful, idiotic comment delivered in the name of Jesus, I feel like writing an official instruction manual for Christian growth. It would go something like this:
Take Bible. Read it; study it. Apply with force to head.
The first sphere of application is the Head. It’s critical in our day that we get this. Knowing God through his Word will change your thinking.
Consider 1 Timothy 4:16, where Paul urged Timothy to keep a close watch on himself and on his teaching, for by so doing he would save both himself and his hearers.
Consider Ephesians 4:22-24, where Paul describes Christian growth as a 3-step process:
- Put off your old self.
- Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
- Put on your new self.
Consider Romans 12:2, where transformation takes place when a Christian renews his mind.
Consider Matthew 22:46, where Jesus was so freaking smart that his opponents couldn’t muster the courage to ask any more sneaky questions.
But how, you ask, does one do this?
In our sin, we replace the truth of God with a lie (Rom 1:25). Therefore, repentance involves doing the opposite.
Therefore, three steps will enable you to apply the Bible to your thinking.
- First, identify what you think.
- Second, identify what God wants you to think instead.
- Third, begin thinking the new thoughts.
For example, how might you apply the main point of Luke 2:1-21 (“God sent Jesus to be born so he might save the lowly and rule them graciously. This brings him highest glory.”) to your head?
- I usually think I have to perform adequately before Jesus will take notice of me. I ought to think more of his glorious rescue than my performance.
- I usually think that it’s a bad thing for my weakness to be exposed. Actually, it can be a very good thing.
- I usually think I must have my act together in order to lead others. It’s more important for them to see me trusting Jesus and giving him glory.
And don’t forget to take your application outward as well:
- Do I express favor or disappointment toward others based only on their performance? Or do I believe that, although God requires perfection, he provided it in Christ?
- There are people in my life that I believe deep down are beyond salvation. I must repent of such unbelief and act toward them out of a true faith in God’s mighty working through the lowly.
- I generally think of myself as “not a people person,” “not gifted at evangelism,” or “witnessing to Christ through my example.” Really, I am in love with my comfort and reputation. I must learn to think of myself as “ambassador,” “witness,” or “mouthpiece” of the Lord Jesus.
What other Head applications can you think of from Luke 2?