The following three passages from Matthew, Mark, and Luke are very likely ones almost all Christians have heard read and talked about many times.
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”.
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul andwith all your strength and with all your mind”
If this were not enough, Paul continues teaching about the importance of how we think.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. and your neighbor as yourself”.
It is clear that you and I have a responsibility to think right about God and His affairs. Right along with the command to love God with our hearts and souls is the command to love Him with our minds.
This is especially important to know and be aware of for those of us who are living in 2011 America. Perhaps never before has there been so much competition for our attention. HD media assaults from every side. You cannot walk into a store or cafe or car dealership without a barrage of messages in print, sound, and HD TV. Most people who sit on park benches no longer enjoy the playfulness of a squirrel, or the joy of a child on a swing, but rather stare zombie like at text messages or some other distraction on the screen of a cell phone. The typical home has more than one TV on at any given time and family conversations, with no distractions, are only fond memories. People are forgetting how to have a conversation I fear.
When people we read about in the Bible got into trouble with God it was often a result of bad thinking. It was true of Peter and Jesus rebuked him sharply for not thinking right.
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God but on the things of man.”
Thinking wrong thoughts and a failure to think about the right things is a dangerous way to live. Consider these passages.
“Their end is destruction, and their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”
“For those who live according to the flesh set their mindson the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
One of the disciplines of being a Christian is correct thinking. I will readily admit it, this post has challenged my own heart and mind. How has my thinking been? How is yours? Are you thoughts mostly on business, sports, sex…? How much time do you and I, on purpose, meditate on God, his purposes and promises. In short, have we failed the test of loving God with our minds?
We must live our lives purposefully and with the self-control to master our thoughts. We don’t have an option if we would be all God means for us to be and if we are going to love Him they way he wants us to.
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.
Change your thinking and you will be changed. God would never assign a task that is not possible for us to do. You and I can stop stinking thinking! And, we can think about God and his love, things that are beautiful and pure, and promises that are sure.