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What did you think I meant?

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

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One day I was speaking with my mom on the phone. When she related an almost inconsequential conversation she'd had with a friend, I commented that I hoped that the woman hadn't misunderstood what my mom was saying.

"I can't worry about it," was her carefree response. Now, as long as I can remember, I've never heard my mom utter a mean or even thoughtless remark. Still, it impressed me how free she was from wasting precious time mulling over nothing.

I wanted to be like that.

Anyone who tries to act in ways that are harmless, unselfish, loving, thoughtful, has no reason to worry about others' reactions. The quality of a person's thoughts are automatically expressed in the words he or she verbalizes. It's not productive to be concerned about whether another person might misinterpret the meaning of words that have been said with good intentions.

This isn't to advocate that people blunder along through life, saying thoughtless things under the guise of what they might think is honest, all the while coming across as blunt and rude. But it's always possible to learn how to be tactful and considerate. In fact, we can always strive to do what the Apostle Paul encouraged the Christians in Philippi to do when he wrote to them, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5).

What is that "mind"? Well, in several places in the Bible we find the word mind used in connection with God. And the book of Genesis says we were made in God's "image" and "likeness" (1:26, 27). So, you could conclude that we are made in the image and likeness of the divine Mind, or intelligence. Having that mind "which was also in Christ Jesus" is really being aware that we are made in God's intelligent, good likeness.

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