There are different types of mindsets. They can be rigid, unbending, and resistant to change, or they can be pliable, flexible, and eager to change. They can be spontaneous or calculating. They can be free flowing or stagnant. They can be open to new ideas, or they can be closed. So how can we have an intentional mindset? First, you must learn which mindset you have. From there, the rest is easy. Sort of.
Recently, I wrote about how ancient philosophers talked about how the mind is rooted in the soul (learn more here)? It one of three parts that makes us uniquely human: Spirit, Mind (Soul), Body.
The Body is everything physical, sexual, and is the most needy part of our existence. When we move through choices it is our Body that first must satisfy its needs. We must eat, drink, rest, and expel energy and excess waste. The Body experiences life through touch, smell, taste, hearing, and seeing, but it is the Mind that interprets those experiences and gives them meaning. Our Mind responds to the urges of our body by complying or denying them. We can restrict our eating or overeat. We can exercise or sit on the couch. We can use our body to accomplish great things, or we can give into destructive temptations that lead to destruction. The body is nothing without the direction of the mind. We see this when someone is in a comma, the body lays limp and unresponsive. Conversely, we can see how paralysis does not limit what the Mind is capable of, but without the Body to take care of the Mind it falters, sputters, and stops as in the case of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The Spirit is what God breathed into Adam that gave him life. It is the inherent part of our being that knows when something is right or wrong, good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. It is where happiness and joy, sorry and grief, and guilt and shame reside. Our Mind may make the decisions, but it's the Spirt that judges us.
When I think of how to explain these components in simple to understand terms, I use the analogy of a car. The Body is the body of the car with all it's moving parts that require constant maintenance and attention as it shakes, rattles, and rolls along. The Mind is the steering wheel that determines where the Body will go. And the Spirt is the gas that gives the car movement and momentum. Without consideration for Spiritual things, we may do and think whatever we want, but we will have a poor sense of direction and may have very little momentum.
There are many examples in the Bible how God wants us to think, behave, and set boundaries with others, most notable is the story of Adam and Even in the Garden. God created the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9) and warned Adam that on the day he eats from it he shall die (Genesis 2:17). Notice, this was before Eve even enters the story (Genesis 2:21). Eve gets tricked by the serpent (Satin) and when they ate the fruit from the tree of life, they broke God's rule (Genesis 3:3), and sin entered Adam and Eve and everyone thereafter (Genesis 3:15). Even though we have free will, the Bible warns us that everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23). Our decisions hurt not only our Body and Mind, but also our Spirit. The scripture below explains how our decisions can bring joy or sorrow to the Holy Spirit within us. When we live a life that is not intentional it's like spending our days polishing a beautiful car that we never take out of the garage. Life is so much better when you take that beauty out on the road, propelled by the Spirit living in you.
"And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live.
Remember, he has identified you as his own,
guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption."
Ephesians 4:30 (NLT)