Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Exchange My Mind"

1st Samuel 15 NASU (selected verses)

Samuel anointing Saul by Guy (Giro) Rowe (1894-1968)“Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, ‘...I have carried out the command of the LORD.’” (v.13)

“Then Saul said to Samuel, ‘I did obey the voice of the LORD...’” (v.20)

“Then Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned;… because I feared the people and listened to their voice.” (v.24)

“As Samuel turned to go, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. So Samuel said to him, ‘The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and given it to your neighbor, who is better than you.’” (vv.27-28)

The human mind can rationalize and justify almost anything. Saul was given a specific order from the Lord. He obeyed one part of the command. Saul convinced himself, “I have carried out the command of the LORD.” It was not relevant to Saul that he did so only partially. When challenged by the prophet, Saul persisted: “I did obey the voice of the LORD.” Samuel did not agree and, while Saul eventually admitted the truth: “I have sinned.” the damage was done. It was too late for Saul to make amends. He lost his opportunity to serve the Lord.

In a final attempt to secure his royal position, Saul used violence. Saul assaulted Samuel, and succeeded only in tearing the prophet’s robe.

Samuel rebuking Saul by Guy (Giro) Rowe (1894-1968)
I have seen the same pattern in me...
  1. I fully understand what is required of me but I choose to perform less.
  2. I convince myself that partial performance is good enough.
  3. I become defensive when others point out what is lacking.
  4. I finally admit to my shortcoming and expect my new-found honesty to make everything OK.
  5. Everything is still not OK.
  6. I get angry and take it out my frustration on those nearest to me.
  7. I lose my hope and quit trying to perform altogether.
Only Christ can heal this hopeless and pathetic behavior pattern. In the quiet admission of my utter failure, Jesus offers me another chance. This time I am expected to do more than change my mind. I must exchange my mind. My mind plays tricks on me. I can’t trust it. It will justify and rationalize anything. Not so with the mind of Christ. 

Thankfully I can exchange mine for His.

“…we have the mind of Christ.”
1st Corinthians 2 16.b NASU

The paintings above are by American artist Guy (Giro) Rowe (1894-1968) depicting Samuel anointing Saul as the first king of Israel and later the prophet rebuking Saul.


Joel Slater said...

Thank you for this post. It is scary to see the pattern in my own life listed so succinctly. It challenges me to firmly establish the Word of God as the rule, guide, standard, policy, and filter for my behavior.

Thanks for speaking this out!

Dave's Bible Blog said...

thanks for commenting Joel. I appreciate your thoughts.