David and Teresa Ferguson try to help us get the point about paying attention when they write in Devotions for Couples that a wife might say, “I’ve had a really rough day, especially when I went to the shopping mall;” to which too many husbands will respond with a compassionate, “You went to the mall? Did you get that shirt like I asked you?”
Husbands and wives who respond in thoughtless ways like these are not usually, in my experience, rude; they are, well, just thoughtless. The natural tendency of people is to think about themselves. Because it is the natural tendency to think about your own interests first, it takes thought to consider others first.
The sad thing, in this regard, about the state of the American family is that we use our homes as safehomes in which we let our guards down. What I mean is, we let our guards down to the point that we quit practicing the command of Jesus through the Apostle Paul to consider others better than ourselves and to look to the interests of others in addition to our own interests (Phil 2:3-4). We come home from school, work, or play where we have humbly been courteous and considerate; and become discourteous and inconsiderate to our spouses, our parents and our children. And it isn’t because we are choosing to be rude. It is because we quit choosing what to do and we let the natural tendency take over.
So we have to change our minds. I mean literally change our minds. In order for me to be considerate first in my home and then outside my home, I must have the mind of Christ. That’s right. I need a renewing of my mind, so that I begin to think like Jesus all the time, everywhere.
How can you develop the mind of Christ? First, expose yourself often to Jesus in the gospels? Second, be deliberate as you make every effort to add the ways of Jesus to the faith with which you began your Christian walk. Third, pray for the mind of Christ.
The more you develop the mind of Christ, the less thoughtless you will be to your family and to everyone else. That’s Life at Work!