An amazing discovery I’ve had since retiring is that my mind wanders. Not short trips but journeys. In a matter of minutes my thoughts race from laundry to shopping lists to telephoning a friend to a Scripture I read to a program on television to a conversation with my mom to whether I should mow the lawn or not and back to the laundry and should I do a load of “whites” or “colors.” It’s easy to dismiss that kind of thoughtlessness, but Scripture teaches that as a man thinks in his heart, so he is. What does that mean? Studylight.org writes, “A man is as his thoughts.” I like to put it this way, “You are what you think about!”
The way that we think determines to a large if not complete part how we live, what we do, who we do it with, where we go and who we are. Just let that soak in for a few.
My thoughts dictate whether I am going for a walk or lounging in the recliner. My thoughts lead me to telephone a friend or dwell in quiet time. My thoughts guide my decision to drive through a fast food restaurant or stir up a meal from the pantry. My thoughts determine whether I will pray about a situation or gossip about it.
It is crucial that we think about what we are thinking about and, as 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 teaches, learn to take our thoughts captive. Our minds do not have to be open pastures allowing any and every creature to pass through. We can and, more importantly, we should erect fences that hold captive the thoughts we should dwell on and keep out those that would not only prove detrimental to our well-being but those that rob us of peace with God, peace in our relationships and peace with ourselves. You know, the spirit-killers and joy-robbers – the thoughts that keep us from being who God created us to be.
Philippians 2:5 (AKJV) says, “Let this be the mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” This Scripture should raise for you as it did for me the question of How – How do I have the mind of Christ?
First, you must know Christ. If you don’t know Him, you cannot possibly have his mind. Settle this business first! You can visit the SALVATION tab at the top of this page to learn how you can have a personal relationship with Christ as your Lord and Savior.
To those who know Him, Scripture gives guidance for our thought life.
- Romans 12:2 (NASB) says, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Women are somewhat experts on renewal; you know, new hairstyle, new wardrobe, new shoes. Those things are nice, but what we need is a new mind, new thinking. We need to continuously renew our minds through prayer and the study of God’s word. Renewal is an ongoing process.
- 1 Peter 1:13 (KJV) says, “gird up the loins of your mind.” I love Scriptures like this because I am forced to go deeper in my study to understand the meaning. Gird is not a word we tend to use freely in the American language, and our use of the word loins is typically preceded by the words beef or pork.
The Art of Manliness.com writes, “Back in the days of the ancient Near East, both men and women wore flowing tunics. Around the tunic, they’d wear a belt or girdle. While tunics were comfortable and breezy, the hem of the tunic would often get in the way when a man was fighting or performing hard labor. So when ancient Hebrew men had to battle the Philistines, the men would lift the hem of their tunic up and tuck it into their girdle or tie it in a knot to keep it off the ground. The effect basically created a pair of shorts that provided more freedom of movement. Thus to tell someone to “gird up their loins” was to tell them to get ready for hard work or battle. It was the ancient way of saying “man up!”
Well, we don’t have to “man up,” (Ladies, don’t get upset.) but we do need to “step up” and “mature up,” especially in our thinking. This Scripture calls us to prepare our minds for the battle. What battle? The battle with Satan. He knows that if he can wriggle his way into your thoughts (doubt, anger, bitterness, jealousy, revenge, etc.), he can control you. Remember, “a man is as his thoughts,” and “you are what you think about.”
Just as the Hebrew men lifted their hems and tucked them into their girdle to free themselves to fight more effectively, so we need to hem up our thoughts, tuck in those that are of Christ (I am his child, John 1:12; I am a friend of Jesus, John 15:15; I am no longer a slave to sin, Romans 6:6; In Christ Jesus I have wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, 1 Corinthians 1:30, etc.), and keep out those that are of Satan (I am no good, I am a loser, I am weak, I can’t help myself, etc.)
Think about what you are thinking about.