. . . the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.2 Corinthians 5:14–15, ESV
There’s a saying that “What consumes our minds controls our lives.” I don’t remember where I first heard this quote, but I remember that it stopped me cold.
When I considered what consumed my mind—the things that I thought about most of the day—I couldn’t ignore the fact that those weren’t the things that I wanted controlling my life.
For me, it was work. Deadlines. Trying to keep my clients happy. That, and what was for dinner. That may sound silly to you, or you might be right there with me. Or maybe your most frequent thoughts are about how to pay the bills, your current Netflix binge, or how to best care for a child or aging parent.
In and of themselves, none of those things are unworthy of our thoughts. We all have responsibilities. Work, bills, dinner, family; they are all necessary and important aspects of our lives. And even if Netflix isn’t necessary, entertainment isn’t a bad thing. The question is, are those things worthy of top place in our minds?
And then I read this verse from 2 Corinthians 5:14, “the love of Christ controls us,” and I wondered: What could my life look like if Jesus and His love consumed my mind and controlled my life?
Yes, there would still be work to do.
Yes, I’d still have to plan for dinner.
Yes, there would still be bills to pay.
Yes, our loved ones would still need our time and attention.
But could making Jesus my consuming thought change the way I responded to each of those things? And might that affect my responses, my reactions, and even the choices I made about entertainment?
How could it not?
So how do we do that? How do we allow Jesus to consume our minds and control our lives—especially when there’s so much going on in our everyday lives? I don’t have “THE” answer or solution. It’s a big question, and the answers are easier to talk about than to put into practice. I do have some ideas, though—things you may already be thinking or doing—that I want to be more intentional about. Things like . . .
- Staying connected to Him in prayer
- Reading the Word daily
- Asking Jesus to strengthen my faith
- Talking about Jesus with others
- Acknowledging Jesus and His goodness in everyday conversations
- Letting people know that Jesus loves them
I have to believe that the more we make Jesus part of our everyday lives and conversations, the easier it will be to live out and share the kind of love He has for people.
Giving Jesus priority—allowing Him to consume our thoughts—will most certainly affect our actions. And our actions are what others will really pay attention to. Our faith-driven actions also impact our thoughts and strengthen our belief. It’s a cycle that benefits everyone!
Now hear me: I am not saying that we have value because of what we do. God saw us before we even knew him. He wanted you and He cherished you before you were even aware of Him—and even when you were pushing Him away.
What I am saying is our physical response to Jesus’s love can affect our heart’s response. In other words, sometimes our beliefs drive our actions, and sometimes our actions drive or deepen our beliefs.
Dwelling in and on Jesus—allowing Him to consume and control us—will give us the strength and the boldness we need to share His love. Sometimes we share with words, and sometimes it’s our actions that speak volumes. Here’s what those actions might look like:
- Restoring people gently and bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1–2)
- Rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and giving thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18)
- Refusing to worry and instead modeling what it looks like to live in a spirit of peace and trust (Matthew 6:25–33)
- Casting our cares on Jesus (1 Peter 5:7)
- Giving to those in need (James 1:27)
- Standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves (Proverbs 31:8)
- Speaking life (Ephesians 4:29)
- Living a holy life (Romans 12:1–2)
- Forgiving each other (Ephesians 4:32)
- Loving everyone (Mark 12:31)
If we are supposed to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, we must intentionally focus our thoughts on His Word, listen to His leading, and open our eyes and hearts to see ways that we can serve Him and share Him with others. And then we must act. We must move in the ways He calls us to move. When we do that, we will experience what it means to have the love of Jesus control us.
What helps you refocus your thoughts on what really matters? Please share in the comments below!