Hi everyone. Rob here again.
A couple of days ago I wrote that I have given myself 3 simple guidelines to help me be kind to myself each day.
- Have I taken care of my body?
- Have I taken care of my mind?
- Have I taken care of my heart?
We covered the body last time and now it’s time to talk about the mind. We all know Romans 12:2,
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.
We’re not just looking to be intellectually stimulated, but to have our minds renewed so that we may have the mind of Christ. Dallas Willard once told John Ortberg that in the ancient world the mind included both thoughts and feelings. He also defined thoughts as “all the ways a person is conscious of things.” We are aware of things at multiple levels. We not only know things but we also sense things. We have ‘gut feelings’ about things as well as learning from books. Sometimes we ‘just know’ and other times we learn very slowly. The mind is vast and powerful and if it’s not given over to God can get us in a whole heap of trouble.
So what is Jesus thinking about this pandemic? Have you asked him? Is he worried? Is he stressed? Or is he at peace? Is he filled with joy? Is he thinking thoughts of love, compassion and grace? Is he mourning with those who mourn? What’s his truth right now? How can we align our truth with his, the ultimate truth, the true truth? How can we think his thoughts, feel his feelings and be transformed?
Prayer is the obvious answer but how we pray is what matters most. If we just fire requests at God that come from our own best thinking then we are not going to have our minds transformed. To receive Christ’s mind we need to surrender ours. “Lord, I give you my mind. I give you my thoughts, my feelings and all the other ways that I perceive life. Jesus, I ask you for your mind, for your way of thinking, feeling, perceiving, so that I may walk in step with you.”
An obvious fruit of having the mind of Christ will be peace. The world is hurling un-peace at us right now. They’re dumping worry and stress at our door. We need to be very mindful of our media and social media intake at the moment. There is some excellent media out there but endless speculation, worst-case scenarios, constant images of loss and death can lead our mind away from peace and into panic. Jesus is not panicking! We need to die to the world’s answers and come alive to kingdom possibilities. We are going to be needed to help the world heal and so we must give Jesus our minds now! The best way to prepare our minds for the future is to focus our minds on what Jesus wants for us today.
So read Scripture and books/articles/posts infused with God’s Spirit. Control the media you take in. Be realistic. The world will not be the same afterwards. We need to walk with Christ closely so surrendering your own best thinking to him is vital. Give yourself permission to grieve, but don’t neglect worship – more on that next time as we talk about the heart. Take time to listen to his voice. It’s our character that he’s building through this and he’s asking for our co-operation. So pray and listen, pray and listen, pray and listen.
Remember this from 2 Timothy 1:7.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Grace and peace everyone.