Many of my college students are intimidated by the Teaching Elementary Math Methods course. They say, “I’m just not good at math. I’m worried I won’t be a good math teacher.” How did they develop such a negative mindset? My goal is that they will be able to teach mathematics with a positive mindset. Your mindset reveals what you believe about yourself in a specific situation. Being willing to learn and work through struggles produces a positive mindset and opens your mind to learning.
In today’s passage, Jesus taught His disciples the importance of developing a heavenly mindset because He knew their earthly lives as His followers would be difficult. Verse 17 describes the huge crowd that had gathered to hear from Jesus. But when this famous sermon began, Jesus looked specifically at His disciples (v. 20). He taught them the “blessing” that comes through difficult things: poverty, hunger, sorrow, and hatred (vv. 20–22). Certainly, this upside-down view of life was surprising. The poor would receive God’s kingdom, the hungry would be satisfied, those who weep would laugh.
While we may want great things in our lives right now, our true reward is in heaven (v. 23). That’s why Jesus was teaching those who listened to keep a heavenly mindset. They needed to view the hard things that happened in light of what was to come. Jesus then taught the same lesson in reverse, associating desirable things with the word “woe.” He said, “Woe to you” to those who are rich and well-fed, to those who laugh and are flattered. Why? When we become too satisfied with the blessings of the present day, it’s easy to take our eyes off our eternal purpose. The lesson is clear: we need to maintain a heavenly perspective.
>> What is affecting your mindset today? Are you suffering? Take comfort in Jesus’ promise that your eternal future is filled with hope. Are you content? Be wary of getting so comfortable that you neglect to turn your heart and mind to God.