Nothing is impossible for God, hence you’ve got a license to dream (Eph 3:20-21). And when you’re having to make your way through a difficult situation, you’re not lacking for forward momentum given the fact that you know “all things work together for good” (Rom 8:28). In short, you’ve got a “win-win” working for you, regardless of your situation – not because of your ability to “see the good” in everything, but because you “see the God” who’s in charge of everything.
There’s so much more to being on top of your spiritual game than just being “nice” and being “moral.” Being genuinely optimistic (Rom 8:28), having an impeccable work ethic (Col 3:23-24), possessing integrity that’s beyond reproach (1 Thess 5:22), carrying yourself with a strong and confident bearing (Phil 2:13), being the kind of person that people want to be around (Phil 2:3-4) – these are practical manifestations of the kind of Character and the kind of demeanor that results from a steady diet of Scripture and frequent conversations with your King (1 Thess 5:16-18; 2 Tim 2:15).
There’s a sizable suite of practical advantages that a relationship with Christ brings to the table that often gets overlooked in conventional church culture. Usually the emphasis is on being born again for the sake of missing hell and being assured that, come the day you breathe your last, you’re guaranteed admission into Heaven. While that’s very much a part of the salvation package that a relationship with Jesus represents, it is by no means the only thing. Consider the way in which the aforementioned characteristics would play out in the workplace. The result is an employee the you don’t just want to hire, you want to give them more responsibility so their influence can be more significant. Many times this translates to more income. And again, you’re not basing you efforts on a desire for a larger paycheck. Rather, all of this works the way it does because you’re focusing on your King.
It’s important to realize the sequence of events leading up to this new perspective that results in “reeking of excellence” because in the end it’s more than just resolving to “put on a happy face.”
You can choose to be in a good mood with an intentional round of “positive thinking.” The problem, however, is that “positive thinking” is simply being selective about which circumstances you focus on and which ones you move to the side in order to accommodate a cheerful disposition.
On the other hand, “profound thinking” is focusing on the One Who orchestrates your circumstances and does so as One Who loves you unconditionally and has your best interests at heart (Jer 29:11; 1 Jn 3:1).
It’s this kind of “profound thinking” that’s being referred to in Romans 12:2:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom 12:2 [see also Eph 1:18; 2:23; 4:17; Col 1:21])
In order to renew your mind in the way that Paul is referring to here, you’ve got to focus on your Heavenly Father and position His Perspective and His Wisdom at the front of the line, as far as the way you would process yourself and the world around you. And you’re not doing this simply so you can be more polite and approachable. You’re doing this so you can approach the whole of life from a position of Strength that perceives life, not so much in terms of what’s “happening,” but rather what God is “doing.”
Think about that for a minute.
When you’re looking at your world and seeing it as something God intended, your circumstance is now infused with a sense of Divine Purpose. The situation itself is no different than it was a split second ago, but you’re now looking at it through the lens of God’s Sovereignty.
- What was trivial is now significant (Rom 8:28)
- What was nerve wracking is now calm (Is 26:3)
- What was prideful is now humble (Phil 2:13)
- What was doubtful is now possible (Lk 1:27)
- What was despairing is now optimistic (Ps 42:5)
Every question mark is now replaced with an exclamation point in that while you can’t see what the future holds, you know Who holds the future. And with that sense of certainty comes a confidence and a Strength that manifests itself as a stable disposition (Is 26:3), a cheerful demeanor (1 Thess 5:16-18), a solid work ethic (Col 3:23) and a consistent performer (Phil 2:13).
These are all Christlike Characteristics. This is why you spend time in prayer , this is why you study God’s Word – so you can become more like Him (2 Tim 2:15). And when you become more like Him, you are inevitably basing your philosophical paradigm – the way you see yourself and the world around you – on the Purpose, Peace and Power of your King rather than the Agenda, Ability and Anxiety that you’re bringing to the table at that particular moment. Now, you’re approaching everything from a position of Strength and you are “reeking of excellence” in all the right ways at all the right times for all the right reasons.