“Think Like Jesus” by George Barna is a great read for those who desire to grow deeper in their Christian faith. It uncovers the core beliefs of Christianity and discusses the state of the faith in America, while suggesting ways to help us think more like God. Every Christian’s goal is to reflect God more, and this requires adopting his values and his thoughts – his heart and mind.
Paul says in Romans, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
If Christians have any one thing in common, it is this: we all desperately want to know what God’s will is. Paul doesn’t give a road map because there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” way to get there. God’s personal relationship with each and every one of us is different from person to person. God interacts and communicates with us in ways unique to us.
Paul does give a guideline, however – do not simply accept the ways of the world (conform), but instead let God transform your mind (renew). Paul warns not to conform to the pattern of the world because he wants us to conform to God’s patterns – his heart and mind. Paul wants us to care about what God cares about and to “think like Jesus” in every way. Easier said than done, right?
Do Not Conform
This does not simply mean “do the opposite of what the world does.” We are not called to be contrary, but rather discerning. We should stand with the world when it doesn’t oppose Christ and stand against the world when it does. We aren’t called to be simply countercultural. We do occasionally end up that way because the world often opposes God. We addressed previously the need to discern wisely the patterns of the world (The Counterculture Counterfeit).
We are called away from the worldly (conformed to the world’s patterns) and called toward the godly (conformed to God’s patterns). This takes wisdom. When the world is doing the right thing, we applaud and join them. When it is doing the wrong thing, we resist and oppose them.
The Renewing Of Your Mind
But how do we know God’s calling in our lives? How do we know what God values, what he thinks or feels in any given situation? “What would Jesus do?” is nice but how do we know? We would have to think with his mind, feel with his heart. This is where the renewing of your mind comes in, where God removes the thought patterns of the world and gives you, gradually and increasingly, thought patterns of his. Renewing of your mind happens through many ways, such as prayer, meditation, reading Scripture, spending time with godly mentors, and even reading books on faith.
The renewing of your mind is the purpose of books like “Think Like Jesus.” Researcher George Barna approaches the Christian worldview by assessing where believers in America stand on various traditional Christian beliefs. He looks at what Scripture tells us for big questions like “What is the nature of God” and “What happens after we die?” and shares what his polls reveal about where Americans agree with the Bible on these topics – and where they might have conformed to the world’s thoughts instead of thinking like Jesus. Pick up a copy to challenge your thinking and renew your mind!