Week 1: Mind
April 13, 2020
THINK ABOUT THIS….
In these times of uncertainty, we are naturally hungry for information and answers. Our mind works hard to assimilate all of the information, and then it works even harder trying to make sense of it all. We can easily find ourselves mentally and emotionally overloaded, and ultimately the overload will take a real toll. We become anxious, worried, or even fearful as a result, and this can lead us to a place of mental and emotional exhaustion. Have you ever been there? Are you there now? The good news is we have hope!
When God created us, He gave us the job of caretaker for our thoughts and emotions, and He gave us the tools we need in order to accomplish this. To determine which thoughts and feelings are healthy, we begin by going to God’s word. Philippians 4:8 is a great filter and helps us know which thoughts can stay and which thoughts need to go. Paul says, in this passage, that we should only think on things that are honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, or praiseworthy. If our thoughts are not any of those things, then the thoughts have to go! We have to intentionally filter out the thoughts that don’t pass this test and ask God to cleanse our mind and emotions.
After the filtering, there is a second part of this process that is vital. We must replace those unhealthy thoughts with the truths of God’s Word. We must find scriptures that apply to the particular struggles we are having, and we must replace those old, filtered-out thoughts with the fresh and living Word of God. This is the way that we proactively attend to the health of our minds: filter, and then replace.
Once we have begun to actively engage in the filter and replace process, we must then take reasonable steps to guard our minds from future intrusion or overload. In Proverbs 4:23, Solomon tells us to guard our hearts, or minds, with all diligence. He goes on to explain why: the issues of life flow out of that heart and mind. We must guard our minds. Later in Proverbs (23:7), Solomon takes it a step further: not only do we need to guard our minds but the things we actually think determine who we are! If we are to be the light of the world in these dark days, we must guard our minds.
To take care of our minds, we have to think about what we’re thinking about! Then, we have to be strategic with filtering/replacing our thoughts and guarding our minds. Use these three practices to strengthen your mind in Christ.
1. Test Run. Think about what you’ve thought about over the last 24 hours. How do those thoughts measure up to the Philippians 4:8 filter? If they fail the filter test, replace them with the Word! Use Proverbs 3:5 and Proverbs 4:23 as great replacements this week.
2. Take Inventory. Pause several times a day and think about what you’re thinking about. Run the Philippians 4:8 filter and replace failing thoughts. The more frequently you filter and replace thoughts, the less time those harmful thoughts will have time to settle into your and spirit and weigh you down.
3. On Guard! Check your inputs. What is coming into your mind and how is it getting there? Maybe it’s time to cut back on the news, social media, certain people, or other inputs. Ask the Lord to help you set appropriate boundaries.
To be #StrongerTogether, we must tend to our minds. We have to clean up our existing thoughts by filtering and replacing them with the Word of God. Then we have to be on guard and manage our mental and emotional inputs moving forward. This the path to a strong and Godly mind!
May God strengthen you today as you diligently guard your mind and take inventory of your thoughts. Pray that the mind of Christ would be formed in you and be intentional to saturate your mind with the Word and Presence of God. Let's get #StrongerTogether!