I want to piggy back on Mike Somer’s post, Deadly Thoughts, from yesterday. Mike helps us to discover that the objects of our desire are often of a worldly nature. Today, I want to talk about another component to our wanting which is why we want the things we want. Seriously, when was the last time you stopped to consider why you want a new, car, camera, phone, or a sweater? The answer is found in a simple test of our focus.
Think back to yesterday. Starting from the time that you woke up, to the time that you went to bed, make a list of all the things that you did. In order to maximize the results, be detailed about it. For example, if you watched TV in the morning, what show did you watch? If you surfed the NET, what websites did you visit, if you read a book, what book did you read? The point is to understand the kinds and quality of information that we are putting into our minds. As a participant in this exercise, I viewed my web browser’s history. It reveals that I visited my email and business sites the most and often interrupted them with Pinterest, facebook, HOUZZ, Amazon, Pantagraph and Atlas Obscura. I want to give you a golden opportunity to do the judging for me. Do you think these moments in my day qualify as Godly, or worldly? Wait, before you answer that, let’s get a true test from the Apostle Paul. He says, “those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). Now what do you think? The answer I came up with stings a bit.
The part of the test that stings is that it reveals my focus. I spend much of my time filling my mind with worldly things. To be fair, some of this is important. It helps me run my business and communicate with people. I will not, however, allow those things to become an excuse. I must consider the alternative use of my time. What if, instead of retreating to Facebook and Amazon, I reflected instead on God’s word? How would it change my attitude? Would it change the things that I want? According to Paul, the answer is yes. He equates living according to the Spirit with setting our minds on the Spirit. The end result of this thinking is Life and Peace. Galatians 5:22 expands that list to include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
To be sure, this BibleJournal project is a good start for setting our minds on the Spirit. I don’t know about you, but I can feel the Holy Spirit nudging me, ever so kindly, gently and lovingly to allow him into my mind more often. I intend to do just that. Will you?
If you would like to learn more about how we can allow God into our minds, I recommend reading A Mind For God, by James Emery White. In it, he discusses the consequences of Christianity’s passive role in learning and building strong, Godly minds. He explains his “mission to prepare [his] mind to not simply understand the ideas of the world but to engage the ideas of the world.” The simple truth is that until we engage His word in more intellectual ways, we will never be able to fulfill His great calling on our lives.