There is a problem in our churches that goes far beyond poor doctrine, secular influence, and weak leadership. This problem is the Christian fixed mindset.
What is the Christian fixed mindset?
These Christians don’t see their Christian faith as a means to change, transformation, or growth. They approach God to help change their circumstances or heal their body or broken relationships but lack the belief that they have been called and even designed to become a new creation. This fixed mindset doesn’t prevent them from participating in church activities and being serious about their faith but it doesn’t allow for a vision of personal change. They recognize some personal characteristics and assume that is all that God has given them to work with for success in the Kingdom of God. They don’t cultivate these characteristics nor do they try to grow new, healthy ones.
What does this lead to? At best, this leads to a Christian who takes their beliefs seriously and shows gratitude to God and can do many good things for the Kingdom of God. At worst though, this fixed mindset can create Pharisees – individuals who never become like Jesus and instead become legalistic, focused on outward appearance, and lack generosity towards themselves and others.
Signs that you have a fixed mindset instead of a Grow Up Mindset.
-tend to think that Jesus’ teachings on “the good life” are just descriptions of what Jesus will do when he returns and not what he wants to do in our life right now
-too willing to say things like, “I am not good with….” and let that dictate our choices instead of seeing these limitations as opportunities for growth
-see faithful and mature Christians as possessing special gifts or blessings rather than examples of the transformation that can occur when Christ takes over a life.
-read the Bible for knowledge rather than for heart change
-see apprenticeship to Jesus as a nice add on for “super Christians” but not a central calling of Jesus on all believers.
Contrast this to a Christian with a Grow Up Mindset.
-thinks that their character and life can be changed and transformed through the work of Jesus for the here and now.
-not afraid of the challenge of developing Christlike character. They see this challenge as essential to their Christian life.
-want to partner with Jesus on this growth project and believe that Jesus longs to transform them.
-seek out the means to Grow Up and stay true to their commitment to this Growing Up process. -recognize that on this side of heaven, there’s always room for Christ’s work to mature our hearts and better our response to others and to him.
Next week, we will read how Jesus taught his followers to have a Grow Up Mindset.
*note: the concepts of fixed mindset and growth mindset are covered extensively in education resources. Here is a description that might be helpful. https://chem.washington.edu/growth-mindset