To really understand how to build a foundation of spiritual wisdom in our life and work, we need to look at the way God’s people were wired to think. We must also clear out some of our old ways of thinking as an exercise to renew our minds. We need to “set a table with our mindset.” This will help dismantle wrong belief systems and empower our pursuit of wisdom, giving us access to the right way of thinking.
We can understand how to clear the foundation of the way we think if we look at three common mindsets: the barbarian mindset, the Greek mindset, and the Kingdom mindset. All of us must personally “renew” our minds to grow towards the Kingdom, and away from mindsets that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). As we navigate these three mindsets, try to identify where your mindset could shift in order to further develop your understanding of spiritual wisdom in your life and marketplace role.
Survival: The Barbarian Mindset: The barbarian mindset is a “survival” mindset. It promotes the survival of the fittest, claiming that whoever holds power is the most important and safest. The barbarian mindset in government is measured by the ability to hold people in fear. People who are filled with fear can be easily dominated.
This is the devil’s favorite mindset because he came to steal, kill, and destroy, and he uses fear tactics and threats as a primary force. In the business world, you find companies that are managed by fear, with cultures that foment the survival of the fittest, that encourage unhealthy competition, and where ideas are stolen for self-promotion. The motto is, “We don’t have to care, we are just trying to get as much power/money as we can.” In the marketplace, it is a dominating way of thinking, and we see things like top-down management with control, fear-based systems in place, a stringent and punishing culture, and impossible metrics in order to grow within the company.
Worshiping Man and Idols: The Greek Mindset : The Greek mindset is self-reliance, self-gratification, and humanistic love that expresses compassion that is not always connected to truth or healthy boundaries. Human reasoning is king, and a Greek mindset doesn’t accept what it can’t comprehend. Pride is the root of the Greek mindset. This mindset makes us think we are okay while keeping us away from God’s dreams for us.
In the marketplace, we see people with a Greek mindset who are extremely independent, narcissistic, focused on personal goals above the goals of the company, opportunistic, and honoring only in the context of self-gain. This mindset within the marketplace creates a culture of comparison where people are trying to live by the book and seek perfection. The Greek mindset also breeds a very compartmentalized way of learning. It is why we have a different identity at work, at home, and with friends or extracurricular activities. The byproduct of this is a struggle with depression or unworthiness because everything feels so disjointed, even if they look like an outward success.
The Wisdom of Heaven: The Kingdom Mindset: The Kingdom mindset is one of love, action and partnership with God. Romans 12:2 (TPT) beautifully sums up this mindset: “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in His eyes.”
Kingdom thinking is practical for success and prosperity. It is extremely healthy psychologically, because it is represented by valuing your identity in family, in society, and in life, and also valuing others as yourself.
In the marketplace, when you learn to think like God, you prosper. You are not limited to your human talents, your societal position, your education, your own awareness; you have God leading you for His purpose and He can take you beyond what you hope for or imagine. The Kingdom mindset values hard work, but recognizes that as you hustle, you will bear fruit that is greater than you could have produced in your own strength. As in the parable of the ten talents, there is a good God who will reward those who work with Him by multiplying what He has provided.
God promises us when we follow Him, we won’t have to lean on our own understanding. When we don’t have a Kingdom mindset, we have a hard time accessing God and others relationally. Instead, we end up trying to hear His voice to get ahead in life and not to grow in our Christlikeness. Our agendas are birthed out of our mindsets. With the Kingdom mindset, we do our jobs so that the fruit is the same fruit we are meant to demonstrate in our daily lives: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faith- fulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
I’d love to continue the conversation in the comment thread below! How do you see these mindsets helping or hurting people in the marketplace? What has God shown you about them in your own life? What have you done to resist the temptation of the barbarian and Greek mindsets?
This excerpt is taken from my book, Wired to Hear. To learn more, click here.