Christ-Centered Thinking

By: Noah Corse

Everyone has a worldview. A lens through which a person sees the world. This means that you have a worldview. And your worldview shapes everything you think and perceive, ultimately shaping how you live and respond to circumstances. Our worldview comes out every day, whether we realize it or not. It permeates every area of our thinking. Let me put it this way. Imagine someone comes up to you asking for advice on a particular subject of their life. Let’s say parenting. And that person has a disobedient and wild-spirited child. This child causes them plenty of stress and typically can create a scene just about anywhere. Because of this, this person tells you they feel like they can’t go anywhere out of fear of embarrassment. They come to you in confidence, “what should I do?” They ask. What you say is a result of your worldview.

What immediately comes to mind? What would you tell them? Where would you steer them? Would it be to the top ten most popular books on parenting of 2020? Maybe it’s to a psychologist. Or perhaps you suggest a trip to the spa or yoga to empty their mind and lower stress. If that’s the case, then you lack a Biblical and Christ-Centered worldview. Let me give you another scenario.
You notice a coworker; let’s say his name is John, and he is acting strangely. You have known John and worked with him for more than five years. Both of you have a strong trust in one another. After talking for a while, trying to figure out what’s wrong you uncover, John is depressed. Life isn’t going as expected, and he has become sad, down, and stressed. You ask yourself, “I wonder why he is depressed?” More often than not, these are the thoughts that race through our minds.
“Well, he doesn’t get out much. If he would just try and make some more friends, he would be fine. I’ve known him forever; it’s because he doesn’t have a girlfriend right now. Once he starts dating again, he’ll bounce back. It’s just because of the pressures at work. It’s because he drinks too much.”

Can these things be affecting him? Of course. I am not saying those things aren’t affecting him. But is this Christ-Centered thinking? We must be thinking Christ-Centered. And so far, in these two examples, we have missed the mark.

Christians in America are lacking a Christ-Centered worldview. Our thoughts are clouded with worldly ideas and solutions to everything. Having a Christ-Centered worldview means Biblical truth about Jesus flows from our hearts and minds in every circumstance and situation. How do we get to this state? We must fill our minds with the Word of God daily and prayer. Christ-Centered means our first pattern of thinking in any circumstance is not worldly; it isn’t going to google for an answer or find the top 10 best sellers of whatever topic. It’s going to see Jesus in the Bible. It’s a Biblical worldview. More specifically, it’s a Christ-Centered worldview. Many Christians have a Biblical “morality” worldview of some sort but not a Christ-Centered worldview. What do I mean by that? Let me provide another example. You tell your child to take out the trash. They resist and ask why they have to take out the trash when Johnny (your youngest pretend son) hasn’t taken out the trash in a month. “It isn’t fair they persist.” You respond, “because I said so!” This is a Biblical worldview to some degree, correct? Children are supposed to honor their Father and Mother by being obedient to things that are not sinful. This is true. But is it Christ-Centered thinking?

Ephesians 2:11-13 says:
“Remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh-called ‘the uncircumcised,’ which is done in the flesh by human hands. At that time you were without Christ, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world. BUT now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Paul charges the Church at Ephesus to remember! Remember what? That at one time they were lost, without hope of a future kingdom, without the promise of forgiveness of their sins, without any sort of hope in God. But now, Paul tells them to remember that Jesus has brought you nearby his blood. And all those things you didn’t have, “Christ, citizenship, promises, hope, God,” you now have in Jesus Christ by His blood shed for you. Later in the letter, Paul then shows them how to live in light of this truth. This is a Christ-Centered worldview; this is Christ-Centered thinking.
Remembering our past lost condition before Christ naturally humbles us and sparks gratitude in our hearts for Jesus. When we remember what was owed to us by our sins, namely God’s judgement, but that Jesus has paid for them in full, it brings about a reason within us to be obedient to His Word.

Now, come back with me to your child taking out the trash scenario. They resist taking out the trash and complain that your youngest son never does any chores. Then here comes the question from your child, and of course, it is in the most respectful tone, “why do I have to take out the trash?” A moral answer would be, “it’s the right thing to do.” However, Christ-Centered thinking says, “Because Jesus died for your sins and rose from the grave defeating death and offering forgiveness to all those who repent and believe. And because of that, you are to obey God’s Word, which includes the fifth commandment to honor your father and mother. Son/daughter, take out the trash with gratitude obeying God’s Word because you are thankful that he died for your sins and rose from the grave. And because you realize your sin put him on the cross in the first place.”
That is Christ-centered thinking, and it applies to every area of life in all circumstances! Why do I love my wife? Because I remember that at one time, I was without hope or peace, without any promise from God other than His judgment for my sin. But now, Jesus has forgiven me, saved me, and brought me near to God by his blood! Therefore, I will obey his Word in Ephesians 5:25 for husbands to “love [your] wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.” Thinking Christ-Centered is twofold. You are to remember how far you were and how much Jesus has forgiven you; then, you are to obey his Word out of a thankful heart that has been forgiven and saved.

Why do I honor my boss and work hard? Because of Jesus! Why do I…. you can fill in the blank. It’s all because of Jesus and his kindness to suffer the wrath of God on our behalf.

So, the next time you engage a person struggling with depression or having problems with their children. The next time you are tempted to slack off at work or blow up in anger at your family. Or the next time your child disobeys and asks why. Remember Jesus. Let Jesus be your first thought. Does this person know Jesus? Sickness, sorrow, and death are all a result of sin. And who conquered sin? Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Does this mean that you just tell everyone, “hey stop sinning and think of Jesus, you pagan!” No. Those are topics to address in another blog or sermon. I simply want to try and engage your mind through your daily activities. When a circumstance comes up, where does your mind go? As Christians, let our minds always fall at the foot of the cross of Jesus, and let him motivate us to live Holy lives. “For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up.” (Hebrews 12:3)