“Be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)
What goes on in our minds is something even the greatest scientists, with all the technological
advancements, cannot explain. In our minds are past emotions, our memories of both good times and bad, pleasure and hurts, and so on. But the mind is also where we form and choose our values, principles, and priorities in life.
Anything can come to our minds and we need to process them – either accept them or reject them. Like in the cartoons, we have two voices within us – the good [represented by an angel] and the bad [represented by the devil]. How do we know which side is saying which? We are bombarded with moral choices we face daily, and sometimes we make mistakes in our choices and sometimes we choose the right decision. There is a spiritual warfare always happening 24/7 between our ears.
So how do we win in the battlefield in our minds?
- We need to grow in knowing the mind of God. The first way is to read the Bible daily and live out the teachings that it says. We need to know the ways of Jesus, the mind of Jesus, and the character of Jesus. What would Jesus do in that situation?
- We need to be careful what thoughts captivate us – are they righteous and wholesome, or unholy and self-seeking? If they are in the secondary group, we need to decide to keep the ‘garbage out.’
- We need to look at the media that we let our minds be influenced with. Are they coming from people who desire to love and serve God, or not? That is why it is good to read and learn from the lives of holy Christians from the past and the spiritual wisdom they can teach us.
- Aside from the media, people greatly influence us. Without thinking, we absorb the values and the character of those who we hang around with. Are those closest to us want to love God? Would Jesus be happy with my friends’ choice of words?
- Many of us believe in lies, and these lies prevent us from drawing close to God and living in peace. We need someone who we can share our life with who can mentor us and help us identify and uproot those lies from our lives.
- Lastly, choose to forgive rather than to keep the hurts and grudges inside. Choosing to be hurt and re-live those hurts makes us live in the past. We need to let go, surrender those grudges and let God deal with them, so we can move on in peace in our lives.
Other Scripture References
- We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ… [2 Corinthians 10:5]
- …whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. [Philippians 4:8]
- Other references: Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 13:20; Matthew 22:37; Romans 8:6-7; Romans12:19-21.
For Personal Reflection and Group Sharing:
- Am I careful with what captivates my mind?
- Who is winning in the daily battle in my mind? Am I growing in the wisdom and knowledge of God every day?
Top image credit: photo of man in prayerful reflection, from Bigstock.com, copyright by Captured Nuance, stock photo ID: 2360799
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.