This guest blog is by Brian of @BassmanBrian on twitter.
What do we let occupy our minds? How do we decide what to spend time on? How do these decisions impact our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives? How is the mind of a Christian different from that of a non-believer? These are just a few of the many questions I will review from the perspective of the Christian.
When we think of what we let occupy our minds, there are really at least two key questions. One is intentional; what do we think about? This is easier to examine. We simply need to evaluate what we voluntarily expose ourselves to; what do we deliberately think about, things of the world or things of God? The other is unintentional; what are we mentally scarred by? In this case the chances of our lives, the temptations introduced by others and the things we see and hear that we don’t really go looking for impact us. People we surround ourselves with contribute in a large way in this case.
We all have a different level of worldliness we can expose ourselves to and have it not be a problem. How do we spend our time also has a consequence here, as part of the larger stewardship question regarding the valuable gifts of time, talent, and treasure that He gives to us. If we choose to spend time on watching a sporting event as opposed to worshipping God in some way, there will be at the minimum a mental impact difference.
I believe the results of these decisions are immense . Let us view prayer as an example. When we pray, there is the obvious benefit of asking for His intercession in our lives. However, there are more benefits, chief among them being our increased attention on God as a result of prayer. We will be thinking about our Lord more; it is hard to imagine that not having a positive impact on us. This may seem more important to you if you are of the Catholic, Arminian, or Wesleyan persuasion, since in those faith systems there is more of a focus on good works, holiness and sanctification. These things don’t save us, but they can contribute strongly to our discipleship, rewards or treasures in heaven, and well as how others see us as we hopefully walk with Him in a faithful Biblical way.
The mind of a Christian is different in a vital and substantial way. The message of The Cross is foolishness to the nonbeliever. If we are saved we are promised the Holy Spirit will dwell within us. In 2 Cor:16 we are told we have the mind of Christ. This can be fairly shocking to people. What does it mean? We could have a book length discussion on this, but I believe this really entails having an eternal kingdom oriented mindset, in a humble, obedient, compassionate and loving way.
What about the Romans verse on renewing our minds? What does this really say to us? I believe this is about making changes in our thoughts, which come about because of our circumcised hearts, to not be those who fast in a self centered way as shown in
Zech 7:4-6, but rather be those whose lives are as committed to Christ as possible, in a genuine loving way towards Him, in full appreciation and thankfulness of what He, our triune God, has done for us. It is not enough to be opposed to the ways of the world. Rather we should be looking to Him, as only a believer can. In a nutshell, our minds will be having thoughts that an unsaved person would be incapable of having. These thoughts are a gift from Him.