“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, 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 ESV
During your lull time, what trains of thoughts, ideas, or attitudes do you have? Are they poisonous or helpful things? Positive or negative? Resentments or forgiveness? Do they show pride or humility? Are your passing thoughts angry, lustful, greedy, or envious of others? Do you judge others quickly? What about your past – people, events, and circumstances? Do they leave a positive or negative imprint on you? Sometimes, a train of thought passes by – do we filter them or allow free reign to them regardless of whether they are good or bad ideas? Our minds are very powerful in helping us grow closer to God – or draw us away from the Lord. Luke 10:27 says we should love the Lord our God with all our minds. And the mind is a battlefield of the good and the bad – and we are in control of which ones do we filter and which ones we allow to remain.
So How Do We Love God More With Our Minds?
- Let your minds be immersed with God’s word, and let the Scripture be the norm of your life. Part of transforming our minds is by shedding off our old way of thinking and putting on the mind of Christ. See Romans 12:2. Start disciplining your mind to think only of good, positive and upbuilding things and filter the evil, harmful and destructive thoughts that pass by. A transformed mind produces spiritually healthy thoughts.
- Deal with your past and do not leave any loose ends – even mentally. Forgive those who have hurt you in the past and ask forgiveness for those whom you have offended. If that is no longer physically possible, forgive or ask forgiveness from the heart in God’s presence. Stop reliving lies and bad memories. Remember that all things, even the bad or negative, can turn out for good for those who love God [Romans 8:28]. Stop believing and reliving the lies you faced in the past and start living in the truth and the present.
- Quickly judging others is something you should not let your mind do. Learn to mind your own business, and you do not have to know everything that happens to other people. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Instead, think of good things about the people around you – their good traits, strengths, and blessings.
- For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34B ESV) Your speech should be seasoned with gratitude, positivity, and confidence in God. Learn how to lead or divert chats into something good and positive. Avoid situations of and avoid participating in gossip, slander, and back-biting.
- Two significant influences that affect what and how we think are the media and the people around us. Do we have a filter for the media and peoples’ opinions that we allow in our minds?
- What should occupy your mind? Here are a few good things: Gratitude to God; Scripture; Heaven; Good memories; Good relationships; How to know, love, and serve God more little by little, day by day; Intercession, especially for your friends to know the Lord too.
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]
- Do not be conformed to this world, but 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)
- But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:8-10 ESV)
- Other references: Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 13:20; Matthew 22:37; Romans 8:6-7; Romans 12:19-21.
For personal reflection or group sharing
- How transformed is your mind?
- Does it have a filter to strain out the things you should reject and allow only those thoughts that are good, positive, or upbuilding?
Top image of a young person thinking, from bigstock.com, © by MSPhotographic, stock photo ID: 676835
Tom Caballes is a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with seven branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters [with his son-in-law and grand-daughter] live in Wellington, New Zealand.