Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset, characterizes people with the growth mindset as those who are willing to: embrace challenges; persist in the face of setbacks; see efforts as the path to mastery; learn from criticism; and, find lessons and inspiration from the success of others. Consequently, they reach “ever-higher levels of achievement.”
What is impressive about those who seek to grow is their ability to measure obstacles, persecution, and trials as opportunities rather than defeat. Instead of becoming bitter or letting adversity become an excuse for a losing attitude, growth-thinkers are resilient. I remember in ranger school hiking up a steep, wooded hill in Dahlonega, Georgia. My Achilles tendon was screaming in pain so much so that I wanted to quit and get medical attention. Walking directly behind me, a private from the 2ndRanger Battalion who was part of my squad, literally harassed me with encouragement. “You can’t quit! Suck it up ranger. Just get over this hill and you will be fine . . .” I will never forget his fervor and refusal to let me stop climbing. I made it with his help because he had the right mindset.
2 Peter 3:17,18--Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Just get over this hill! The Apostle Peter was deeply concerned about people he described as “untaught and unstable” who were twisting the teachings of his fellow Apostle Paul and the rest of Scripture to their own spiritual destruction (vs. 16). These ignorant people held a preset bias focused on their own agenda. Notice Peter’s challenge in the passage above to his friends. Essentially, the key to not falling prey to false thinking is to better understand Jesus.
The only thing fixed about Jesus’ thinking was to obey the will of His Father in heaven. In Luke 2:52 we learn that He grew in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man. Jesus lived 33 years on earth committed to growing a movement that would change and result in the salvation of people around the world. He embraced challenges. He persevered through direct opposition from fixed-thinking religious leaders. He wore the cross to bridge the great divide. He inhaled death to exhale life. He bore our sins to present us holy before Yahweh.
Therefore, the best way to grow and succeed is to be like Jesus! He sets the standard. Emulate Him and we gain victory. This is why I strive to read the Word of God every day. The gospels are filled with Jesus’ wisdom and weave brilliantly with the rest of the Bible. The pain of climbing is mastered by trusting the Son who perfectly ascended with His eyes on His Father—something to think about . . . in reveration!
As we grow older, if we are growing spiritually, we grow in hope. If we do not continue to grow spiritually, we grow in bitterness.--Dr. Jerry White
©2016 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., Mindset, (New York: Ballantine Books, 2006).