Monday, May 4, 2020. What is filling my mind and my heart? What is it that is giving me a direction? What is it that draws my attention and my thoughts? Often, we experience this phenomenon that our thoughts circle arount particular topics. We come back to these topics again and again.
What is it that is influencing my thoughts? What is it that is influencing my heart? Sometimes I seem to be trapped in particular negative thoughts. Or I seem to be trapped in some particular pain. My thoughts and my emotions are not independent. Yes, I can use some reason, to argue. But often I realize that my arguments are guided by my emotions - and I see the same effect in many other people. What are the arguments which I would be willing to accept?
Work Environment …
In the New Testament, there are a lot of passages which are talking about my mind-set. Jesus is addressing people, to believe in God and believe in him. He is talking about our mind and our emotions, about the basic decisions and characteristics of our life.
These questions have a generic philosophical component. But they also have a very practical component. What is my attitude and focus when I carry out my job. Of course, I should focus on the topics I am working on. That is my obligation to my employer. But still, every human is working in a particular framework. Part of this is the question of engagement and dedication. I believe that no company or institution will survive where employees just do their work. That might work for a while, but then the whole thing will be stuck. Finally, it will vanish.
Humans are gifted beings. We all have talents. And humans want to work in a human environment. They need company. They need a team. They need an environment where they know that their particular talents are needed. And when they put in work and effort, they need to know that their efforts are acknowledged. Feedback is important for humans on all levels. Real community and friendship is as important as formal feedback. We mobilize deep capabilities to help our friends. We are willing to focus and to work hard, when it help to support people we feel deep sympathy with, perhaps even love.
His Spirit …
Let us look at this question of my mind-set in a larger framework. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, writes:
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8, f)
In New Testament terminology “the flesh” is a term used for “worldly life”. It is used for a life which does not believe in God, who is spirit. It is used for a life which has a focus on values which are far from God and the wider understanding of this universe. It talks about egoistic and short-range motivations and actions.
But the spirit of God is the spirit of mercy, of wisdom, of truth, of fidelity, of love. It is a spirit which is filled with deep compassion. The spirit of God knows about God, about his existence, his character and his motives. But more than that, the spirit of God knows God's plans with this creation, from the very beginning to its end.
The New Testament formulates the invitation to organize our life towards and around the spirit. God is God in father, son and holy spirit. Living according to the spirit is the same as living according to Jesus, who sent the spirit. It is the same as living with the father, who sent Jesus and is one with the son. All what we find about Jesus in the Old and New Testament we will find when we are filled with the spirit. It is truly wonderful, when you experience his presence, better than the best food, and much better than the best things this life has to offer! (Roland Potthast)