Thinking, thinking, thinking, always thinking. The life of the mind is the heart of the Christian life. As I think through the Scriptures, I'm struck with how much emphasis is placed on our thought life.
One text that we are all familiar with is "as a man thinks in his heart (mind)so he is (Proverbs 23:7). Take time and park there...as our thought life is, so we are. What we chew on every day. What we allow into our minds, is the real indicator of who we really are. Any man can hide who he really is from others, but our inward-self reveals the true us.
With that in mind think of the One who knows the mind of man. We are told by the prophet Jeremiah that God searches the heart and examines the mind (17:10). Paul tells us that it is God who searches our heart (Romans 8:27). The writer of Hebrews tells us that God's word judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (4:12).
How about Psalm 44:21 "Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart." There are hundreds of other passages that tell us that God knows our thoughts, desires, and our attitudes. How incumbent on the man of God to develop the life of the mind in a God honoring way.
The battle in the Christian life is not out-there, no, it's inside each one of us. The battle is the fight against any ungodly thought that tries to make it in to our life, and find root. We then through the power of the Holy Spirit have the choice to smash that thought or let it in where it will take root and estrange us from God and others.
Let's move from the abstract to the real world of every-day life. Suppose you had a fight with your spouse and you are now harboring sinful feelings. Let's say you are acting out your feeling in the expression of anger. You can trace that anger back to a thought...anger is an emotion, but you have to give it room...you have to allow it a place to come and reside,you have to start to listen to his voice for it to have an effect.
Now think about the love that the Bible commands us to have toward our spouse. Paul tells us in that great chapter in 1 Corinthians that love is kind. Now, here we go, we don't have to feel kind first toward that person to act, no, we put on kindness, we smash those thoughts of anger, we kick him out, and invite kindness in. We allow the voice of kindness to speak to us.
So, even when we still feel anger, we act-out the fruit of love, kindness. Is it hard? You bet it is, matter of fact you cannot do it alone, you have to walk in the Spirit and keep your heart tender toward God.
Let's therefore put off all that is contrary to God's thoughts and put on Christ in our daily thought life.