Public Safety Announcement
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:8-9)
Public Safety Announcement:
It is not safe to let your mind wander – put it on a leash and give clear directions.
We all start off with different bodies – fatter, thinner, shorter, taller etc. Some hot. Some of us … well … we never wanted a career as an underwear model anyway. But after that, it’s largely up to us. Even the most initially desirable body can be ruined by over indulgence in unhealthy food and lack of exercise. And an otherwise average body can be honed and trimmed with a good diet and regularly burning off any excess calories.
And our minds are pretty similar. We have very different minds, some funnier, some cleverer, some wiser, some humbler, some more hopeful, some more realistic etc. Just as we need to pay attention to our bodies, we need to intentionally care for our minds.
We need to feed them well – focus on things that are good, wholesome and healthy. If you let your mind graze aimlessly in the gutter, indulging selfish, angry, resentful or lustful thoughts, then that will affect the formation of your mind. Which, let’s face it, needs to be renewed.
And we need to exercise them well to: meditating on what is true and honourable. What does it mean to live solidly in the light of the gospel, rather than whimsically indulging in the escapist fantasies of the fallen world around us? The story that shapes our hopes and fears should be the story of God, rather than the stories or TV shows of our culture. If God be real and we are his people, then we should look for ways to honour him now, rather than idling away hours thinking about “what ifs” or “if onlys.” If, as well as absorbing, we investigate and meditate on the truth that our souls crave, then we will develop healthy, renewed minds.
Does the whole thing sounds like a bunch more effort than you fancy? If I let my body rot, why not my mind too?
To which Paul would say: if you’re going to neglect one, let it be your body. It’s good to be fit – but the God of peace dwells with those who renew their minds. Because true peace comes from God, not the gutter.
Ponder: Where do I let my mind wander in the idle moments of the day or when I’m lying awake at night? In those times, am I wasting my mind on tat or am I developing healthy, God honouring, habits of thinking?