The Answer To A Hostile Mind
The mind apart from God is always hostile toward God. There is something about God’s call for obedience and to follow that causes the hostile mind to set up arguments and barriers against God. I have seen this played out between men. Racial hostility is often caused by lack of knowledge and experience. We set up boundaries and rationalize our hostility toward another race because we don’t know them. I don’t mean know in the sense of facts but experience. We have not entered into relationship and gotten to know their character, their dreams, their loves, and their hopes. We live in a world where it is easy to hate those who are from the Arab world.
I was picked up by an airport transport van and was the only passenger that day. I was able to speak openly with the driver who was from Lebanon. When asked about where he was from he was hesitant to say. I learned that he was often the target of hostility because he was from the Middle East. He was a kind man who loved his family and was proud to be in America. He worked hard to provide for his wife and children, and had hope for his children’s future. It would be easy to be angry with him and rationalize it because of his ethnic association. However, getting to know him helped me understand that he wasn’t a threat but could easily be a friend.
Hostility toward God is the result of not knowing Him. Man’s alienation from God has caused him to dwell on speculations that set themselves up against God. “If God is so…then why does such and such happen?” “If God is real why doesn’t he show himself?” “If God loves then why is there pain?” And though these are legitimate questions the hostile mind isn’t interested in the answers. The questions are often deflections to submitting to God, because when they are answered there is always another question that keeps them from believing in God’s way.
The answer to the hostile mind is to get to know God but that is impossible because of sin. Yet, God in his wisdom has made a way for the hostile mind to know Him, and that is through the cross. Paul says in Colossians 1:22, “yet He now reconciled you in His fleshy body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” Sin alienates us from God. God dealt with sin on the cross. Through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection we come to understand the reality of God and His love for us. The answer to the hostile mind is the cross.
I know someone will say that this is circular, “I don’t believe because I am hostile and I get rid of my hostility by having faith” But unbelief is not caused by hostility but rather hostility by unbelief. I get to know God by accepting His gift, which allows me to enter into a relationship with him whereby my hostile mind is changed.
The Easter Season is all about God reconciling hostile minds to Himself through the Cross and Resurrection. Only through faith will those whose minds are alienated become friends to a loving and compassionate God and come to know Him as Father. As we encounter those who are hostile let us remember that we too were once like them. Let us take this as an opportunity to pray that the wall of hostility will be broken and the eyes of their hearts and minds will be open to the Way, the Cross, and the Resurrection.
I’m Just Saying