Speak Lord; I’m Listening – Daily Bite-Size Encouragement – Day 25
Think Rightly in Our Mind
We choose what we think and ponder in our minds. Paul urges us to think about and dwell on whatever is:
- True – rightful, faithful, free from falsehood.
- Honorable – worthy of respect; regarded with esteem; honest.
- Right – according to the standard of truth and justice.
- Pure – genuine; real; true; incorrupt; free from vice or guilt.
- Lovely – possessing qualities which may invite affection.
- Good repute – good is having moral qualities; virtuous; repute is character or reputation as in good character.
- Excellent – the state of possessing a valuable quality; purity of heart, uprightness of mind, sincerity, virtue.
- Worthy of praise – worthy is possessing excellence of qualities; praise is to express gratitude, to honor.1
What we think about will affect our spirit and our bodies. King Solomon proclaimed, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”2
This doesn’t mean we fake it until we make it, nor does it mean to deny reality. Hyped-up optimism does not equal truth. We need to do an honest evaluation of a situation, and if there are needs or concerns, then we need to express them. At the same time, we need to guard against excessive negativity and criticism.
Truth and Lies
Thinking rightly in our minds means we work on heart beliefs and lies. We water the truth as we would a growing tomato plant, and we pull up lies as we would a pesky weed in our natural garden.
Lies are weeds that will choke out the truth, our love for God, our hope, and our love for others. Like any weed, it is easier to deal with weeds when they are small versus when they are large (three feet high) or massive (fifteen feet tall).
In the Psalms, David spoke of cultivating (improving, promoting, increasing) the soil of our hearts and minds.
“For as these qualities [faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love] are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In other words, if we cultivate these eight characteristics and aid them in their growth, we will be fruitful and useful.3
The opposite is also true if we fail to cultivate the eight characteristics listed above and instead develop negative traits (love of self, love of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure). We will find ourselves growing weeds, bearing bad fruit, and reaping the consequences.4
And we will find ourselves ‘blind or short-sighted’ even growing in unforgiveness and ‘bitterness which springs up and causes trouble, and defiles many.’5
To find freedom, we need to “trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.”6
Think Rightly about Others
Paul recommended that the Romans “not think more highly of themselves than they ought, but to think soberly” or rightly. Paul continues by instructing that each member has their part to play for the community to function properly. He encourages each one to operate in their gift, and the result is the healthiness of the whole body.7
When God sent the prophet Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint a new king, “the Lord said to Samuel, ‘do not look at his [Eliab, David’s oldest brother] appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him for God sees not as a man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Meanwhile, the future king [David] was tending the sheep.8 God looks at our heart as in the substance of a cake versus man looking at the outward appearance as in the icing on the cake.
Think Rightly About God
Church history confirms that when a church’s “lofty concept of God declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.”9 I would add society too – for when society surrenders her high opinion of God, she begins her slide down into destruction.
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. ~A.W. Tozer
What does God require of us? “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”10
How did Jesus respond when asked which was the greatest commandment? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”11
God wants us to walk with Him in this way:
- Love Him with all our heart
- Love Him with all our soul
- Love Him with all our mind
- To walk with Him in humility
God wants us to walk with others in this manner:
- Love our neighbor as ourselves (prefer others, serve others)
- To do Justice
- To love Kindness
Cultivate Right Thoughts
What is the difference between knowing and believing? We must figure out which beliefs are true and which ones need to be uprooted. Hosea speaks of people being destroyed for lack of knowledge, rejection of the truth, and forgetting the law of God. It is important to know what we believe as “our spiritual soil [needs to] contain truth from scripture so that knowledge and faith grow! The quality of our bloom is dependent on the values in our soil.”12
We are responsible for the soil in our hearts and minds. What are we planting?
God encourages us to “not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so that we may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”13 By renewing our mind with the truth of His Word, we are transformed into the image of Christ and reflect more of His likeness every day.
We are to “trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight ourselves in the Lord, and He will give us the desire of our heart. Commit our way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.”14
Are you thinking rightly?
- If yes, then plant more good seeds and water well!
- If not, then what do you need to uproot, and what will you plant in its place?
We can turn our heart towards the Lord Toward God – Strength with Dignity
We can trust the Lord Trust in the Lord – Strength with Dignity
1 Philippians 4:8 NASB; Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Retrieved October 11, 2021, from http://www.webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/
2 Proverbs 17:22 NASB
3 2 Peter 1:8 NASB
4 2 Timothy 3:2-4 NASB
5 2 Peter 1:9 NASB; Hebrews 12:15 NASB
6 Psalm 37:3 AMPC
7 Romans 12:3-8
81 Samuel 16 NASB
9 Why We Must Think Rightly About God. Core Christian Beliefs from A.W. Tozer [Cru]. Retrieved October 17, 2021, from https://www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/spiritual-growth/core-christian-beliefs/why-we-must-think-rightly-about-god.html
10 Malachi 6:8 NASB
11 Matthew 22:36-40 NASB
12 Lesson One – Know What You Believe. Retrieved October 17, 2021, from http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/yhst-89448653412711/LessonOne.pdf
13 Romans 12:2 NASB
14 Psalm 37:3-5 NASB
Amplified Bible, Classis Edition (AMPC) Copyright 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Retrieved October 11, 2021, from http://www.webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/
Quotable Quote. Retrieved October 17, 2021, from https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/159298-what-comes-into-our-minds-when-we-think-about-god
Bible Scriptures were retrieved October 11, 2021, from https://www.biblegateway.com #bgbg2 #BibleGateway