The narrative surrounding Bengals’ second-year quarterback Joe Burrow is that he’s “built different.” He has the mind-set that he will make the big plays, the toughness to handle pressure situations, the mental acuity to analyze defenses quickly and his leadership has won the confidence of his teammates.
Burrow set college football passing records, won the Heisman trophy and led LSU to an undefeated season and a national title before being selected by Cincinnati as their number one pick in the NFL draft in 2020. After having suffered a season-ending knee injury his rookie season, he willed his team to their first Super Bowl appearance in 31-years.
Being “built different” also applies to how he has handled adversity. Raised in poverty-stricken southeast Ohio, his dream was to play in college for Ohio State. Unfortunately, he battled injuries his entire career at OSU and was left in the shadows of some other great quarterbacks that prompted his transfer to LSU, where he would excel on the field. Overcoming a broken hand, hurt shoulder and a torn ACL, have only proven his resilience. Although his team narrowly lost the Super Bowl, we Bengals fans believe one day Burrow will be lifting up the Lombardy Trophy on the biggest stage in the NFL. He’s built different.
Even if you’re not a sports fan, it’s easy to admire some of the traits that have made Burrow successful. However, infinitely more important than football are godly attributes that equip us to handle adversity in the “game” of life. In Christ, we are “built different.”
“But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16
What does Paul mean that we have the mind of Christ? It means sharing His priorities and perspective. It is something that all born-again believers possess and that we can appropriate by faith into our daily walk. We are built different.
Having the mind of Christ means:
seeking God’s will, not our own (Matt. 26:42)
acknowledging our dependance on God (Jn. 5:19,30)
identifying with Christ’s purpose to pursue souls (Lk. 19:10; Mk. 16:15)
sharing Christ’s perspective of humility and obedience (Phil. 2:5-8)
living life with compassion and empathy for others (Matt. 9:36)
In order to have the mind of Christ, one must first have saving faith in Christ (Jn. 1:12; 3:3). After salvation, the Holy Spirit permanently lives in the believer and enlightens him, impressing upon him truth (Jn. 16:13) - the mind of Christ. The believer is responsible to yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:13; Eph. 4:30-32) and allow Him to transform and renew his mind (Rom. 12:1,2).
Having the mind of Christ does not mean we will not have to battle through emotional or spiritual pain, nor does it mean that we shouldn’t necessarily leave a toxic situation, but it should transform our mindset - after all, we’re built different.