Theme of the Week: Essential Spirituality
Bible Verse: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:1-17
To be Christian one must think Christianly. To walk in the Spirit requires a spiritual mind. Our transformation into the image of God is dependent on renewed minds. The Bible calls us to love God with our whole minds. Consequently, the critical component of a Christian spirituality is the care for one’s thinking.
The Bible clearly calls for, and assumes the need for, the renewal of the mind. There are two aspects to this mental renewal. The first is the renewal of the way in which we think. The second relates to what we are thinking about, the focus of our thoughts. The full and extended renewal of the mind involves both dimensions.
Few people realize how they think. Thinking is just not usually something that we think about! We just do it. And that is the problem. We will not be renewed in the way we think, unless we give it serious attention. A Christian mind is one that has come to think in terms of, and according to the truth. It is a mind that understands life as God sees life. We seek the mind of God, which means that we want to think God’s thoughts, and see ourselves, our society, or world, our past and our future as these realities are seen by God.
We need to be renewed in the way we think, but also in the focus of our thoughts – what we think about. We are called by the apostle Paul, to “think on these things,” the true, the noble, the right, the pure, the lovely, the admirable, the excellent . . . all that is worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8,9). If we are what we think, then we need to be careful about what we think.
What shapes the human mind? The human mind, by its very nature, is conditioned by outside stimuli; it is not self-contained. The mind can only think in terms of what we feed into it. For instance, a computer is a wonderful thing. But it is useless unless it has an appropriate program that can start the system working. Similarly, the mind functions constantly on the basis of what we allow it to receive. Part of personal disciplining is determining what will and will not enter our minds.
When we feed our minds with garbage, then naturally we soon develop an appetite for it. An appetite for truth, for the good, the noble, and the honorable, takes time to develop. But we cannot hope to have renewed minds unless we resolve to desire that which is good and true, unless we allow the Spirit to transform our intellectual appetites.
The most important way by which the mind is renewed is through the Scriptures. Through the Scriptures, God has provided us with his perspective on life. We are only free in the way we think when we think according to the truth. The renewal of the mind is intimately linked with the knowledge of God through his Word.
Gordon T. Smith in Essential Spirituality. Copyright ©1989 by Gordon T. Smith.
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