Put on the Mind of Christ (and Win the Spiritual Battle)

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Get Out of Your Head" by Jennie Allen. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What does it mean to put on the mind of Christ? What are the benefits of doing so?

In Get Out of Your Head, Jennie Allen offers helpful advice for managing negative thoughts as a Christian. She draws from the bible and her personal experiences, and the findings of modern brain science to teach you how to put on the mind of Christ, which involves following the biblical teachings of Jesus.

Keep reading to find out how you can put on the mind of Christ.

Put on the Mind of Christ: What Does It Mean?

In Get Out of Your Head, Jennie Allen writes about the importance of putting on the mind of Christ. But what does it mean to put on the mind of Christ?

Essentially, to put on the mind of Christ is to act in accordance with his teachings in the bible. This means living a life of gratitude, humility, and kindness. Here are some examples:

  • Because Jesus sought solitude away from the crowds with his Father, you, too, can choose stillness with God over distraction.
  • Because Jesus chose to live in community with others, you can do this, too.
  • Because Jesus trusted his Father, even to the point of death, you, too, can let go of fear and trust God.
  • Because Jesus knew all about the world’s brokenness and sin but never became a cynic, you, too, can reject cynicism and delight in God’s goodness.
  • Because Jesus emptied himself and became a servant, you, too, can choose humility.
  • Because Jesus conquered sin and death and made us “more than conquerors,” you can choose gratitude over victimhood.
  • Because Jesus didn’t abandon us but gave us the Holy Spirit, you can reject complacency and embrace intentional service.

How to Put on the Mind of Christ

This book has a double bottom line: Put on the mind of Christ. Then pass it on.

First, you must learn to have a singular focus. Have your mind consumed entirely by the mind of Christ. This is God’s desire for you. It’s also your escape route from self-imprisonment in perpetual misery. Think of Peter’s singular focus in Matthew 14 when Jesus invited him out of the boat during the storm on the lake. Peter successfully walked on water as long as he looked at Jesus, but when he lost focus and noticed the surrounding tumult, he sank.

Second, this wonderful freedom of a sanctified mind isn’t meant for your private enjoyment. God sets us free in our minds so that we can transmit the same freedom to others. It’s a contagious freedom.

There’s actually scientific evidence that our minds are contagious. In a real sense, your thoughts shift reality for the whole human species. With your thoughts, you add either to the world’s sum total of kindness and compassion or to its sum total of negativity.

The capacity of a Christ-formed mind to broadcast God’s goodness and power to others, and to replicate its own divine freedom in their minds, is almost indescribably powerful. The father of one of the author’s friends is a good Christian man, but he has also suffers from a substance abuse problem. After a stint in rehab, he started leading Bible studies for other men in the program. This developed into a strongly supportive group of diverse men who share not just Bible studies but meals together. The mind of Christ was moving contagiously among them.

You put on the mind of Christ when you share his mind. By maintaining the Christ-centered focus described above in the middle of the enemy’s clamoring lies, you maintain your status as an effective soldier and servant of God. You make yourself a conduit for his liberating grace, mercy, and peace—including peace of mind—to spread to other people.

Exercise: Battle in the Spirit  

We’ve given thumbnail sketches of how Jesus demonstrated and illustrated victory in each of these battles. You have the same Spirit in you that empowered Jesus. This exercise will help you put on the mind of Christ:

  • What are some personal inner battles you struggle with?
  • Why this battle? Why is it yours to fight more than some of the others? Why is it a struggle in your life?
  • How did Jesus face and fight the same thing? How did this battle manifest in his life? How exactly did he respond and overcome? You may want to answer this with your Bible open (since it contains much more detail about these matters).
  • What can you learn from Jesus’s example? Concretely, how does his route to victory apply to you and your battle? 
Put on the Mind of Christ (and Win the Spiritual Battle)

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Here's what you'll find in our full Get Out of Your Head summary :

  • Satan’s master plan for poisoning your mind with toxic thoughts
  • How to replace ungodly lies with scriptural truths
  • How to “put on the mind of Christ” and fulfill God’s plan for you

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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