Mind Your Mind

I recently received a publication from a local mental health organization. One article talked about the stressful, challenging times in which we are living and the need to control our thoughts. It’s easy to become negative, dwelling on ideas that may not even be true or likely. As the author puts it:

“Every action, decision and spoke word originates with a thought. The idea of minding our thoughts can quite literally be life changing.”

Negative thoughts can lead us to negative words and actions. They can take us to places we really don’t want to go.

The Bible talks about this too. Jesus Himself said:

there is nothing outside a man [such as food] which by going into him can defile him [morally or spiritually]; but the things which come out of [the heart of] a man are what defile and dishonor him.” Mark 7:15 Amplified Bible

In other words, our thoughts, which come from our mind and our heart, have a lasting effect on our moral and spiritual life.

The apostle, Paul, echoes this truth in his letter to the Philippians:

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9

Minding our mind is one way to survive times of fear, doubt, grief and more. Instead of imaging a catastrophe, remind yourself that God is in control. Instead of listing the things that may go wrong, repeat the promises of God. The Bible is God’s love letter to His people. Study it. Hold it in your heart. It will help you to mind your mind.

For more on being healthy spiritually see:

Improve Your Health, Make a Friend

Choose Spiritual Health

How Should a Reborn Christian Think?

Michele talked about how a reborn Christian should act, but if you spend some time with the Scripture, you will find that not only should we act a certain way, we should think a certain way.  Jesus himself says in Matthew 5:27-28.

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

There is a rather well known story about an Indian grandfather and his grandson.  The grandfather tells the child that there are two wolves inside of him:  one is compassionate, generous, loving.  The other is cruel, selfish, angry.  These wolves constantly war within us.  The boy asks, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?”  His grandfather tells him, “the one you feed.”

The thoughts and feelings we feed are the ones that will manifest themselves in our lives.  Lustful thoughts are likely to lead us into lustful actions, maybe even adultery.  Angry thoughts lead to quarrels, division and violence.  Anxious thoughts lead us to distrust everyone, even God.

Of course, there is a remedy for this and it is also in the Scriptures.  Listen to these verses from Romans 8:5-6:

“…those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  To set the mind of the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

Here’s another verse from Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

In case you’re wondering how to set your mind on something, it’s really pretty simple:

.”….whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

If I spend the day thinking about how my husband (or friend, or fellow church member) ignores me, hurts my feelings, doesn’t do what I think he or she should, what will be likely to happen?  Next time I see that person, I will probably let them have it!  I will behave in angry, vengeful ways. Maybe I will gossip about them and try to undermine them with others. If, on the other hand, I dwell on that person’s good traits, and try to understand their behavior in light of their life, I will end up praying for them, being helpful to them,  and even (guess what) loving them!

Once again from Romans (what can I say, it’s the book I’ve been studying)

“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit …If the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

Today I’m going to try to live like the reborn person I am.  I’m going to banish the bad wolf and set my mind on what is right.  I’m going to put on Christ.