For the Colossians
In Colossians, Paul addressed believers who were fruitful and growing, who were focused on heavenly things, and who were living “in Christ.” At the same time, they were allowing themselves to be influenced by worldly thinking that reduced their view of Christ and allowed “hallow and deceptive philosophy” to begin leading them away from their faith.
Paul reminded the Colossians of their progress and of what it meant to be “in Christ.” After doing so in the first two chapters, he instructed them in Christian living in Chapter 3 and part of Chapter 4. This instruction took them back to what living for Christ meant and reminded them of the habits they needed to get rid of as well as the habits they should cultivate.
Essentially, Paul brought the Colossians back to a beginner’s mindset. This is a place to where we must all continually return to prevent comfort from growing into complacency.
For All Christians
For Christians, the concept of a beginner’s mindset might seem mystical since it has its roots in Zen Buddhism. However, a beginner’s mindset is simply a way to find a fresh perspective and to not get locked into a religious mindset, something Jesus regularly worked to dismantle (you can find many examples during his ministry).
There’s even a biblical equivalent to this concept of a beginner’s mindset, too. It’s called childlike faith (Matthew 18:2-5). How might returning to a childlike point of view be beneficial to even the most seasoned Christian? Consider that children:
- Question everything
- Are teachable
- Trust easily
- Love unconditionally
- Are great at starting new things
- Are unashamed of their emotions and feelings
How might each of these perspectives give you a fresh approach to your faith?
For Growing Christians
At the same time, we also need to grow beyond the basics if we are to be healthy. So, we are to have a childlike faith and be nourished by food appropriate for a progressive faith too. In other words, maintain a beginner’s mindset but don’t remain in the basics – move beyond your ABCs. This means…
- Questioning like the Bereans did but staying teachable like a child
- Trusting what God says
- Being willing to love everyone, even those who think and believe very differently than you do
- Being willing to try and learn new things
- Seeing old things – things you think you know well or are maybe even an expert at – in new ways
- Allowing yourself to feel what you feel but to not be controlled by your emotions.
- Being increasingly led by the Holy Spirit
A beginner’s mindset allows time for reflection and contemplation. It refuses to live on autopilot and instead lives intentionally and with purpose. Patience, a listening ear, and intentional intention mark the life of someone with a beginner’s mindset.
Prayer. Relationships. Bible study. Meditation. Breathing. Focus. Attention. Work. Confidence. Health. Wisdom. Purpose.
How might each of these areas, and any others you can think of, be impacted if you were to approach them with a beginner’s mindset?