Can I Develop the Mind of Christ? With Denise Pass [Episode 237]

Develop Mind Christ Denise Pass

GIVEAWAY ALERT: You can win the book Make Up Your Mind by this week’s podcast guest. Keep reading to find out how!

Every day we fight battles in our minds, and most of the time, we’re not even aware of the real fight. So, we end up defeated.

We may not realize it’s our negative mindsets at the center of the battle that keep us bound in unhealthy habits and attitudes. But, what if we knew how to break free?

Well, I have good news, sister, because today on the podcast, author Denise Pass is showing us how to break away from those deceiving thought patterns. She’ll teach us the underlying root of common mental battles, expose key negative mindsets, and help us overcome them using Scripture as we develop the mind of Christ.

I’m telling you, my friend, Denise is so spot-on with this topic.

What we think matters, and we can become derailed by our own thoughts if we don’t take inventory of what’s in our mind and clean out our thought closet.

So, as we talk about Denise’s book, Make Up Your Mind: Unlock Your Thoughts, Transform Your Life, she shares how to become mindful of your thoughts and speak truth to your soul, which leads you to develop the mind of Christ.

And, sister, that’s the transformation we’re seeking through God’s Word. Christlikeness doesn’t just pertain to our actions, but our hearts and minds as well.

So, destructive thoughts and lies … be warned! You aren’t winning the battle in our minds any longer.

Meet Denise

Denise is a biblical mindset coach, author, speaker, worship leader, songwriter, and podcaster. She holds an MA in Biblical Exposition and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biblical Exposition at Liberty University. Denise is the author of Make Up Your Mind, Shame Off You, and 31 Days of Hope Reinvented, and she’s also the creator of The Bible Tribe podcast. Denise homeschooled her five children, and she and her husband serve together at their church in Virginia where she is the Director of Family Ministries and Worship Arts.

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Can I Develop the Mind of Christ? With Denise Pass [Episode 237]

Denise Pass: I tell people that we reset our mindset not with positive thinking, which we hear about so much today, because positive thinking might be positively wrong. Right? It's righteous thinking.

Jennifer Rothschild: Every day we fight battles in our minds, and most of the time we're not even aware of the real fight and so we end up defeated. Negative mindsets limit us by keeping us bound in habits and attitudes unless we know how to break free of them. Well, today we are breaking free with author Denise Pass. She is going to teach us the root behind most common mental battles. She's going to expose key negative mindsets and help us overcome them by using Scripture as we develop the mind of Christ. Ooh, this is going to be good. So destructive thoughts and lies, you be warned. You are not winning the battle in our minds any longer. All right? So here we go.

K.C. Wright: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblically sound wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Now, welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Hey there, I'm Jennifer. I'm here to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life of Philippians 4:13. You know that's the verse we just love around here. But just so we are reminded, it is not our spiritual superpower or any magic pill. The context of Philippians 4:13 is right there in the middle of Philippians Chapter 4 and the verses right before it. Paul has talked about having everything he needs and living with nothing, having difficulties in life and things being okay. And he says, I've learned the secret of being content. It's that I can do all things through Christ. Those are the key words. It is through Christ that we can do all things, which includes developing the mind of Christ.

And I'll tell you, this lady, Denise Pass, she has got it going on. Like, she is sharp; she's right on. Like, I am a big fan. I mean, it's where God has walked me for years. Our thoughts, you know, they matter so very much.

And, in fact, before we turned on the mics, K.C. and I were talking. You know, he is still doing CrossFit, my people. I just want to give a big shout out to K.C.

K.C. Wright: Woo-hoo!

Jennifer Rothschild: He's still doing CrossFit. But tell them what you were telling me about what you say to yourself when it comes to that.

K.C. Wright: Well, yes. And this is so true how the power of God and the Word works. Amen? We know prayer works, but we know the Word works.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.

K.C. Wright: And there are times during these workouts that I've committed myself to to get healthy and all the things. Right? And toward the end of some of these workouts, the body just -- I'm done. We're out. My trainer even told me the other day, he goes, "Hey, the workout that you just completed, I've had people walk out the door on."

Jennifer Rothschild: And you completed it.

K.C. Wright: But there have been times where I feel like I can't go one more round, I can't do this, I can't push that sled, I can't lift this 70-pound ball, I can't squat with this, and I tell myself, "You can do all things through Christ who strengthens it -- strengthens me. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Jennifer Rothschild: That's cool.

K.C. Wright: I'm breathing hard, but I'm confessing that -- I don't care what people think, I'm speaking it or I'm saying it to myself, and all of a sudden I will catch another wind of motivation.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: Because you're speaking Truth to your own soul.

K.C. Wright: Right.

And this reminds me of the book that you have already written that is a great resource for humanity. Everybody -- everybody needs this book: "Me, Myself and Lies," because the battleground is between these two ears.

Jennifer Rothschild: It sure is.

K.C. Wright: How a man thinketh, so is he.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yep.

K.C. Wright: And you can't keep the bird from flying over the head; but you can keep the bird, the thoughts, from building a nest in your hair. Right? And so I'm telling you, this is a life-changing podcast, as they all are. But we really need to grab ahold of this so we can have victory in life.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, and it's true, K.C. And, of course, I was all about Denise's message because it's what God has worked in me also, like you said, that I wrote in "Me, Myself and Lies." And so I just love how Denise takes this concept of being mindful of your thoughts, speaking Truth to your soul. And she talks about how it leads you to develop the mind of Christ, which we all desperately need.

So let's intro Denise.

K.C. Wright: So good. Denise is a biblical mindset coach, author, speaker, worship leader, songwriter, and podcaster. She holds an M.A. in biblical exposition and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in biblical exposition at Liberty University. Denise is the author of "Make Up Your Mind," "Shame Off You," "31 Days of Hope Reinvented," and creator of the Bible Tribe Podcast.

Denise homeschooled her five children; and she and her husband serve together at their church in Virginia, where she is the Director of Family Ministries and, of course, Worship Arts.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, Denise, we are talking today about mindset. So I'm going to start with your definition of "mindset." You write that mindset is an established set of attitudes held by someone. Okay? An established set of attitudes held by someone. So now that we know what mindset is, let's start with what a healthy mindset looks like and why it matters for a healthy life.

Denise Pass: Yes. Well, you know, a lot of times we go through this life and we don't recognize that our mindset was already established for us, and we really didn't think about it that much, ironically. And I tell people that we reset our mindset not with positive thinking, which we hear about so much today, because positive thinking might be positively wrong. Right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Denise Pass: It's righteous thinking. And how do we do that? That's something that an unbeliever cannot do. But a believer can. And it only happens as we're willing to cooperate with God and saturate our mind in His Word and seek to be able to think rightly. And that is the way we'll make it through this life, otherwise we'll just be battered back and forth by our emotions, by whatever circumstances we're found in. But we do have a key if we're willing to unlock it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I've studied this also. I love this. That's part of the reason I was so attracted to this conversation with you. Because those thoughts, that mindset, those attitudes, they do lead to our behavior and our habits, and ultimately our character. Just like you described, we can be tossed about. So how does the culture we live in impact our mindsets?

Denise Pass: In so many ways. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Be careful how you think. Your life is shaped by your thoughts." And I love that translation of it. But I think the culture impacts us because it is -- we've been indoctrinated all our days, and again, we don't recognize it. And then that indoctrination transfers into us and our definition of ourselves and how we perceive life. And we're limited. We are blindsided by culture. We get a worldly perspective unless we renew our minds in God's Word. I had to spend a semester studying Matthew 16. And verse 23 is this moment when Peter rebukes Christ, and then in turn Christ rebukes Peter. "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; but you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man." That's what our culture does, it seeks to have us set our mind on things that don't matter, on the things of man, instead of an eternal world view that recognizes this life isn't it. It's a temporary station where we're to glorify God and to think like Christ because we have the mind of Christ.

Jennifer Rothschild: I'm so glad you said that, Diane. Because, in fact, in a little bit I'm going to ask you some very specifics about the mind of Christ, because that's where it's at. And I know in your book, though, you identify ten separate mindsets that can really mess us up. And I think we might know a little bit about what those are, but I want us to be super clear here. Because like you said, the culture can make us fuzzy, we might hold mindsets we don't even know we have. So give us a few of those examples so we're clear about it.

Denise Pass: Yes, definitely. So the opening chapter of the book is called "Why Are You Here?" And it's really the making of a mindset. And we go through Elijah and that famous scene where he's terrified by Jezebel, because that threat became personal, and he runs and hides away. And God asks him the question twice: "Why are you here?" Of course, we know God knew that. And so often when we are asked a question by God, we try to give excuses, and he just asks us another question to get us to think higher. And so I go through that so we can understand how mindsets are formed, and then we go through the angry mindset.

We look at Moses and bitterness and unforgiveness. What gets us to that place? How do we get out? You know, God's Word is enough. And so we go through the tips and the triggers I discuss in there, how to get out of them, and then we look at the mind of Christ, because Christ encountered these same mindsets. How did he handle them? And we see that God's Word is enough if we're willing to go to God's Word.

And then the anxious mindset. And it's funny, I tell people my husband told me I was anxious, and I was shocked. Because once again we're like, I didn't think I was an anxious person. Why do you think I'm anxious?

Jennifer Rothschild: That's just normal. What's wrong with you?

Denise Pass: And then I realized, you know, anxiety is a 100% proposition. If you are living in a fallen world, where people are evil and want to kill you and you're going to die, we're going to be anxious, we're going to experience it. But how do we experience it? Because Christ showed us how. And we also look at Jehoshaphat and how he did. And the depressive mindset with Jeremiah, discouragement, disillusionment.

Christ showed us how to walk through this life, but we had expectations for this life, don't we? We think it's going to look different. And I've come to realize all those painful things we walk through are a mission. It's a mission with our mindset. Our mindset's the key for us walking through those things victoriously.

And then there's a discontent mindset with Jonah battling comparison and pride. And I'll tell you, I think we can all kind of look down on Jonah, but I think we can see ourselves --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, yeah.

Denise Pass: -- in him. And then the doubtful mindset, Peter, unbelief and hopelessness.

And here's the crux of the message of "Make Up Your Mind." When you believe the negative narrative in your mind more than God's Word and what he says about you, friends, that is unbelief. And if we are willing to recognize that there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, but we can repent, that's the key that unlocks our negative mindsets. Recognizing the sin in them, that's unbelief. I'm believing I'm stuck in depression. I'm believing I'm stuck; God isn't going to help me. Those are lies. That's unbelief. And so doubtful mindset is really so key.

And then the helpless mindset, you know, our apathy and weakness, we look at the character of Abigail there. I'll tell you, I wept when I wrote that chapter talking about our Helper, the Holy Spirit. As I searched for Scriptures about how much we are helped, I was overwhelmed. And we just don't access that help. We give in to what our thoughts are saying. We need to doubt the doubts. We need to doubt our own thoughts. But this is what we have today, isn't it? It's this, "This is my truth --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, right.

Denise Pass: -- I believe it." Well, you're believing a big fat lie, friends. God's Truth needs to reign over our truth.

And then there's the hurried mindset. I look at Solomon and Martha in that. And I was just struck by reading about Martha, how she was cumbered, and looking at what that meant. And being hurried can actually cumber us.

And the lonely mindset, grief and isolation, and the Shunammite woman in that. And scarcity mindset, covetousness and lust, we see Moses again, and the Israelites, and how much we really can identify with them. And then finally, the victim mindset, insecurity and rejection, and looking at the life of Paul in that.

And then I end the book with the mind of Christ, and really the Holy Spirit, and seeing how we have the mind of Christ. But I think it's one of those words we hear like, "My identity's in Christ," but we don't really know how to walk that out.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Well, and what I got to say, before we even get to the mind of Christ, is how much I appreciate you pulling out these people in Scripture, who we think they're just isolated on the pages of our leather-bound Bibles, but really they were breathing human beings like you and me and they dealt with these mindsets.

Now, you did mention, Denise, something that I do want us to circle back to, because you mentioned triggers. And in your book, of course, you list some triggers that lead to these faulty mindsets. So maybe you could pick a mindset or two and just give us some of the triggers. And also let us know how we break that power, the trigger power.

Denise Pass: Yes, definitely. Well, I'll look at the first chapter, because each chapter has unique triggers and tips to it. But in the first chapter, I'm giving what we'll call generic triggers that in general put us into this state of negative thinking. You know, stinkin' thinking, I like to call it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Denise Pass: And the first one we've already mentioned a little bit is culture and the influence, the strong influence, especially -- especially at this time with social media and how we form what we think is our truth. And we don't filter all those 70,000 thoughts through Scripture. A lot of times we filter it through our emotions or from what other people think. And I wrote a book called "Shame Off You" where I talk about we wouldn't have shame if we didn't have an audience. It is that extreme concern about what others are thinking about us that also causes us -- and that's a trigger, part of culture -- to shape our thoughts so that we'll please other people. And if we don't make up our mind, others will do it for us.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. Yes.

Denise Pass: And that's critical.

There's also another trigger of this self-focus mentality. You know, don't we hear this a lot today? "Be you. There's only one you."

Jennifer Rothschild: Mm-hmm.

Denise Pass: "Be true to yourself." The irony here is people aren't being true to themselves. They're not being true to who God made them to be. And the incredible irony in it is we go around life with this "me" view, which is the wrong view, and it just has us spinning around in negative minds. So there's just a couple of the triggers.

There's also personality. We tend to think we're defined by personality as a label. We're stuck. We can't choose. We can't help it. I'm just a negative person or I'm just an angry person or an anxious person. No. That's not what God says about you. Are we going to believe a personality test? Now, personality tests, hey, I've taken them. They can be helpful. They can reveal to us, hey, I might need to work on this or that, but they don't define us. God already did.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

Denise Pass: So anyway, mindsets, you know, that's some of the triggers that we can go through with them. And some of the tips to get out is to really know yourself how Christ sees you. Understand what it means to have this identity.

Jennifer Rothschild: I love that, Denise, because -- and by the way, I am recommending this book to our listeners because it's so practical. And like you said, the personalities that we have are unique. The triggers that we may have, there are some universal ones, but there are also some unique ones. So it is important, as you said, to know ourselves the way we are known, and that only comes through Scripture and through being willing to challenge our way of thinking. But here's the thing. A lot of us, we just really want to justify the way we think. Like you said, well, this is just how I am, this is my personality. So how can we reorder our thinking so that it is more aligned with what God wants for us so that we can be who he's called us to be?

Denise Pass: Yes. Great question. You know, I kind of have this image in my mind, as you asked that question, of a windshield. And the wipers are broken, and it's raining and you just can't see clearly. And we need a biblical worldview. And it's been hijacked sometimes by things that are well meaning and positive, but they aren't going to fill us. They're not going to renew our mind. They are not capable of it.

And so the only way we get a biblical worldview -- this is the Sunday school answer. Some of you will be like, "Oh, I know. Read the Bible. Study the Bible." But if we're willing to do that -- and I'm personally studying my doctorate for a Ph.D. in biblical exposition, and people are saying, "Why are you doing that?" Because I love His Word. And I want to know it so well, not because I want to have knowledge, not because I want a piece of paper, but because I want to know it rightly and I want to rightly apply it to my life.

And we're to be like the Bereans. And so I would encourage people that when you have a thought -- let's just say it's any thought, a negative thought. I'm never going to be able to get over this struggle I have. Okay, why don't you just -- if you are someone who has rarely studied the Word of God or -- just go on to Google and type in "Scriptures for" and whatever it is you're struggling with, and begin to change the narrative in your mind. Instead of ruminating on your negative mindset, meditating on God's Word and saying, I'm going to think on these things. And then ask God to help you. Lord, please help me to think like you.

You know, there's a saying from the 1950s, I believe -- you know, people attribute different quotes to different people, so who knows. But I believe it was Pastor Charles Sheldon who first coined the phrase that we are to understand what Jesus did and to act like him. Right? "What Would Jesus Do?" is the phrase. And I've changed it to, "What Would Jesus Think?" Because a lot of times we'll look at our intentions. We don't look at our actions. But if we are really thinking how would Christ think, then we're going to want to check and see how did he think about these things. And he shows us. We have to be willing to search that out. That's the only way we can renew our minds.

Jennifer Rothschild: And Google can help us. I'm so glad you pointed that out. Because sometimes someone who might feel just a swirl of emotion and doesn't know where to start, they think, well, I need to get my Bible, I need to understand how to use it. I need to get commentaries. No. You just need to say to your iPhone, you know, "Search Google Scriptures about anxiety." It is a great way to start. And I am grateful that you mentioned that, because I like the simplicity of that, Diane. I'm so resonating. Did I call you Diane?

Denise Pass: Mm-hmm.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, my gosh.

Denise Pass: That's all right. Hey, that's my mama's name. I said, you know what, she must know my mama.

Jennifer Rothschild: This is me with only one cup of coffee. Okay, my people, her name is Denise. I know that. All right, Denise. I'm sorry about that. That's hilarious.

Denise Pass: No worries.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. So one of the things you said also that I want to also focus on for a second. You have a whole chapter on an angry mindset. Okay? And the older I get, the more I recognize that anger, like, it morphs into all these things that we really don't realize are anger in disguise. And so I was curious -- in your book you talk about how anger can easily turn into victimhood if we're not careful. I would love to hear your take on this, how this happens.

Denise Pass: Well, we feel justified, don't we? I mean, when we're angry, there's usually a cause, and we're usually picking up an offense. And I see this so much, even in the church, where people are offended and they feel justified. But if God's anger toward us wasn't turned away -- he certainly was justified, he's the only one who's justified --we would eternally suffer. And I think, what is it that we're wanting when we're angry? And so James 1:20 says if you are angry, you cannot do any of the good things that God wants done. And so I think it turns into victimhood because we are focused on self. And we aren't thinking about God's glory, we're thinking about vengeance. And we get trapped in this place of everyone look at what this person did to me, instead of how can I redeem this situation and can I actually put on humility?

I remember one time a woman approaching me at church -- and if you're a leader in the church, you get this. You know when someone has that purposeful walk and then they're headed toward you, and they do not have a happy look on their face, that you're about to get it. I was like -- I just started praying. I said, "Oh God, will you please help me not to respond to flesh, Lord. Will you please help me to see her like you see her. Oh God, please help me." And she came up to me and, sure enough, rips into me about how I didn't see her -- you know, respond to her voicemail, you know, yada yada. And the Lord just said, "Just put your hand on her." And I just -- there's something about sometimes human touch in a kind way. I said, "Oh friend, I'm sorry, I never got your message." You know, and it just stops the anger. Now, I could have been offended, right?

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

Denise Pass: Hey, she was wrong, you know, and look at how she treated me. But when I take self off the throne and I realize I have no right to be angry, I have no right to bear an offense, because Christ bore all of my offenses, I cannot carry one.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's very powerful and very difficult. And it is impossible, as you said so beautifully, if self is on the throne. And so that's why it just begs the question, then. And this will be our last question. In your final chapter on developing the mind of Christ -- because we got to have the mind of Christ. We cannot do this without the mind of Christ. So in your final chapter about developing that mind of Christ, you give very specific ways that we can do this. So let's end very practical, Denise -- or I'm going to just call you in advance, Dr. Denise -- what are some ways that we can develop the mind of Christ?

Denise Pass: Okay. So the first one is that answer again -- people may not like -- repentance. Repentance is a daily affair. It is not a once I've been born again, I've repented. Hey, Jesus has covered all my sins; done. You see, because our thoughts every day, whether it's a prideful thought, a selfish thought, an unkind thought, we all have them. And so to think like Christ, we have to admit that we don't. Lord, will you help me? I think asking him to help us to recognize, you know, recognize when we're not. Because, again, these are things and habits that have been shaped over our whole life, and so we don't recognize it. So repentance first, and then believing.

Part of repentance is turning away, not just saying I'm sorry. It's saying, I'm going to make a change. I am going to stop believing my own thoughts, in Jesus' name, and I am going to think like you, Jesus. Help me to do that. And so this belief is this moment of recognizing our mindset, repenting of the sin, and returning to the mind of Christ. And it really happens by studying how Jesus responded to it as well.

And I don't want people to feel like it's a To-Do list, because it's already yours. You already have the mind of Christ, you're just not walking in it. Because as Romans 8:5 talks about, we're walking in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. But I promise you, if you will -- instead of positive thinking, instead of trying to figure things out on your own -- repent and ask God to help you, he always promises to give us wisdom if we ask, he always will answer that request. And so returning to the mind of Christ, it's something, again, we already have. It's learning how to walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh.

K.C. Wright: So practical, so good. And as you said earlier, she is right on. We do want and we need the mind of Christ. She said that to have the mind of Christ, we need daily repentance. Amen.

And remember, repentance is a change of thinking that leads to a change of behavior. So ask God to help you and then believe what he says. Stop believing your own thoughts and trust God to help you think like Jesus.

Jennifer Rothschild: Think like Jesus. Recognize those mindsets, repent of what is not true or righteous, and then return to what is already yours, the mind of Christ. I love that she recommended that we study Jesus' life, too.

K.C. Wright: And I want to recommend that you study her book. It'll get your mind on the right track. And we're giving one away.

Jennifer Rothschild: Woo-hoo!

K.C. Wright: Go to Jennifer's Instagram right now, @jennrothschild, to enter to win. And you can also find a link to Denise's book "Make Up Your Mind" at the Show Notes now at

So until next week, our friends, our 413'ers, think about what you think about. You can because you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.

Jennifer Rothschild: All right, K.C., I know that was such a good conversation. But can you believe how many times I called her Diane? I was so embarrassed.

K.C. Wright: Don't be.

Jennifer Rothschild: Like, I mean -- and she was so gracious, of course. But, like, I knew her name was Denise, but I kept calling her Diane.

K.C. Wright: Hey, can I tell you a true story? That every time I walk into my walk-in closet, I think of you, Jen. Because from the book, "Me, Myself and Lies," from the book you painted the perfect illustration of why would you put dirty sneakers in a clean closet. And sometimes when I'm in my walk-in closet and I'm organizing, and I'm putting my jackets here and my hoodies here, because I'm that dude, and I've got my shoes lined up, it represents your thought closet --

Jennifer Rothschild: It does.

K.C. Wright: -- and you only want clean, good clothes thoughts in that closet.

Jennifer Rothschild: Amen.

K.C. Wright: Thanks for changing my life with that.

Jennifer Rothschild: Ooh.

K.C. Wright: Seriously.


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