I was in a situation recently, in which another person made an off-the-wall comment that prompted several of us in the group (some in jest) to ask this question: “What were you thinking?” This question was an expression of our wonderment as to how this person could come up with a statement that seemed inappropriate for the conversation that was taking place. We have all had those embarrassing moments when we were not as tuned in as we should have been that prompted us to say things we wish we could take back.
On a more serious note, what and how we think has a profound impact on our attitudes, actions, and words. As we age, our thinking process and memory (at least short-term) lose their sharpness. Unfortunately for some, dementia sets in that negatively impacts the entire thinking process. However, there is some good news: Amid the decaying of our minds, as believers in Christ, who follow His command to love God with all our minds (Mark 12:30), we can exercise ourselves in certain ways to help maximize our mind’s potential. We can operate with renewed, focused, and trusting minds.
- Renewed minds: According to Romans 12:2, the key to life transformation is the renewal of our minds. A by-product of such a mind is discernment into the perfect will of God as well.
- Focused minds: Amid the constant bombardment of information that comes at us via the advances in technology, we can determine the focus of our thinking. According to Philippians 4:8 we can choose to think about what brings pleasure to God: what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, kind, gracious, and morally excellent. And if that is not enough, the writer Paul added in the phrase worthy of praise. The choice is ours.
- Trusting minds: Amid the worries of life, we can have minds that are guarded by God’s perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:7). We need not be victims of sleepless nights and high anxiety that plagues countless people in our society—even Christians.
So, on a practical level, how can we renew, focus, and live with trusting minds?
- The best way to renew our minds is to engage in the habit of meditation on God’s Word. This is the only practice in the Bible that comes with the promise of success and prosperity. It seems to be a no brainer to develop this habit.
- Focusing our minds necessitates careful selection of what we read, watch, and listen to. That does not mean that everything should be Christian in its orientation, but that which is edifying in its effect on one’s mind. Ask God for discernment in the selection process.
- Trusting minds are developed by taking things to God in prayer and habitually casting our cares on Him rather than carrying them on our own shoulders. Free from the unnecessary burdens that we tend to carry, we can experience greater peace and joy and freedom to more fully love others.
In a nutshell, then, developing the habits of meditation, selection, and casting, we can become better stewards of the minds that God has given us. Where do you need to start?