MIND READINESS FOR TIMES LIKE THESE
The apostle Paul, as penman for the Holy Spirit, wrote the following: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8).
A person's mind can become either a treasure chest or a trashcan; a jewel box or a junk box. It can be a well-ordered depository for good things or a dump for garbage; a pretty place for delightful walks down memory lane as one grows older or a dreaded pornographic peep show where one is dragged again and again whether they want to go there or not. Our minds can be places of virtue and vitality or they can be dirty and debilitating places.
People’s minds can be bright and wholesome places where lives are designed based on thoughts that are honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous and commendable. The alternative is that they become dark places where lives are designed and directed according to thoughts and imaginations that are ugly and unhealthy, selfish and sensual, foolish and futile,
The saying, “Good things in, good things out, and garbage in, garbage out" is a familiar one, and conveys some important truth where our thought life is concerned. But it needs to be understood that the garbage “in” one’s mind, though expressed outwardly, never goes completely “out” of one’s mind. Mental garbage stays in the mind where rotten thoughts and imaginations can be (but don't have to be) stirred up to reek and reassert themselves again. Conversely, the “good things in,” —good, wholesome, positive thoughts — also stay in the mind, and if stirred up, renewed and replenished they will offset, overcome and all but obliterate any mental garbage present.
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind”
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that
is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
—1 Pet. 1:13
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our
warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
—2 Cor. 10:3-5
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And
be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that
ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
—Rom. 12:1, 2
Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) was a world famous neurologist, psychiatrist, psychologist and author based in Vienna, Austria. In 1942, he and his family were incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps. Over the next horrific three years, his father died of starvation and pneumonia, his mother and brother were gassed to death and his wife died from typhus. Frankl survived three years of horrific brutality to sum up in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning what he believed was the greatest lesson he’d learned during his ordeal; he wrote: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Frankl posited a great truth. Great achievements commence and are carried out, and the greatest adversity can be overcome, depending on the state of one’s mind, and the state of ones mind depends on the responsibility one takes for the stewardship of his or her own mind. But something all-important and vital is missing and therefore misleading about Frankl’s emphasis on the power there is in ones being able and willing to “choose one’s own way.” What is all-important and vital to our havving a vistorious thought life is that our “own way” in terms of our thoughts, be in conformity with God’s “way” of thinking.”
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
—Isa. 55:8, 9
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
Christians in America and around the world are entering quickly into an era of totalitarian shock and awe in terms of oppression and inhumane brutality on the order of what Victor Frankl’s family and millions of others suffered under the Nazis — what socialism and communism always bring with them wherever they go. There’s never been a time when Christians have needed to understand the importance of the stewardship of their minds more than right now. This will make all the difference in the days ahead, as to whether we are people who are faithful or fitful, people who overcome or are overcome, people who stand or surrender, for as a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7).
(NOTE: For years, I have presented in churches I’ve pastored and in churches around the country, a series of messages, a seminar of sorts, on “The Stewardship of the Christian Mind.” My intent is to make this available soon by way of a podcast. If and when the Lord allows this to happen, I will appreciate all the help I can get in making people aware of the podcast.)