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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 Setting Our Hearts in the Right Direction

I appreciate the many of you who connected for the last LU Institute for Military Resilience (IMR) on September 19 entitled “Military Friendly Campuses:  How to Find One, How to Be One.”  While we had good participation and good feedback, our primary objective for this webinar was to help you succeed on an educational path that enhances you, your family, and your future.  Prayerfully that has been true for many of you.  If you were unable to attend, you can go to www.luonline.com/IMRWebinars to see the archived IMR webinars, including this last one. 

This post is written in the midst of sequestration (including drastic cuts to our nation’s military), government shutdown, potential economic defaults, and antagonistic rhetoric on both sides of the political aisle.  It would be very easy for us to despair.  It would be very easy to join the cynical collective that curses the situation and curses “the other side.”  Yet, at the heart of resilient behavior lies a mindset of gratitude and optimism which flows not from the surrounding political and economic conditions, but rather from the heart of God and the hope which is ours in Jesus.  This principle applies equally to military warriors, military spouses and families, and the rest of us. 

You are probably familiar with the saying “As a man thinketh, so is he.”  This relates to mindset.  In Philippians 4:8, Paul encourages us to “think on (ponder, dwell on, focus on, set our minds upon) these things” -- “Whatever is true…honorable…right…pure…lovely…of good repute…excellent…worthy of praise.”  In Romans 8:6, the Apostle Paul zooms in on the bottom line:  “The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mindset on the Spirit is life and peace.” 

While mind set is critically important, we know from the resilience principles in Resilient Warriors that the mental (mind) component of comprehensive fitness does not stand in isolation, rather it is integrally connected to the spiritual (soul) and emotional (heart) components as laid forth in Christ’s Great Commandment.  Certainly our spiritual condition affects how we think, and what we think about. 

As well, our “heart condition” is of prime importance.  We can think of this as “heartset,” analogous to the term mindset.  The example of Ezra (played out in the aftermath of the Babylonian captivity and the return of God’s chosen people to Jerusalem) perhaps illustrates this best in Ezra 7:10, “For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.”  Certainly Ezra, like each of us, could focus on the ills of the day, the political intrigues, the many grievances; yet he “set his heart” on the law of the Lord and purposed to study, practice, and teach it in his nation Israel.  This commitment in turn enhanced his spiritual readiness, and helped shape his mindset and his obedient actions.  What a role model for each of us!  May we like Ezra also “set our hearts in the right direction.”

May we today have the right mindset and heartset to serve the Lord gladly.  May we study, practice, and teach our nation today, as parents, as uniformed servants of our nation, as leaders in the public and private sectors, and as “Champions for Christ” in a very needy, anxious, and desperate world.  May we take heart at the reminder in I Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen Race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…”

As always, I encourage you to provide comments or additional object lessons related to mindset or heartset by commenting on this post or on the LU Military Affairs Office Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LUMilitaryAffairs

Respectfully in Christ,

Bob Dees

PS- As a reminder, tune into the Institute for Military Resilience outreach webinar on November 7 addressing “Helping Veterans Transition and Succeed in Corporate America”.  This will provide excellent information regarding career placement, the search for meaningful employment, and sustainment of life balance and perspective in the process.  See you there!

Posted at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)
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