Monday, October 5, 2009

"Changed Mind, Changed Life"

It is easy to think about and talk about changing our minds. It is very difficult to actually do it.

"The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance" (Romans 2:4).

The Greek root word for repentance is "metanoia," meaning a change of mind. Referencing hypocrites in Romans 2, the Apostle Paul declares that the goodness of God is at work to change the faulty thinking of such ones. How much more, therefore, is our Heavenly Father working to renew the minds of His trusting sons and daughters in the Lord Jesus Christ?

How we think affects everything in our lives, including our beliefs, attitudes, words, and actions. Changing any of these for the better requires the entrance of different thoughts reflective of God and His truth, and the examination and expulsion of contrary perspectives. We are dependent on Him for this process of sanctifying our minds, and the understanding that His goodness is always at work in leading us to repentance provides a strong foundation for the actual experience of a progressively changed mind, and the blessed fruit of a progressively godlier life.

Our calling is to recognize the need for such change, trust the Lord that He is the primary agent thereof, and participate by availing ourselves of the abundant resources He has given to renew our minds. The Spirit of God, the Word of God, and the church of God are the means by which He most often works.

First, the Holy Spirit indwells us, and is forevermore with us in a presence that is not static, but dynamic. Realizing that He is working to reveal truth about every matter in our lives with increasing clarity puts us in a frame of mind where we expect Him, and thus more often experience Him.

The Scriptures are also fundamental in the ongoing repentance that changes our minds and our lives. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). Consistent reading and application of the Bible leads to consistent reorientation of our thinking in both doctrinal and personal terms.

Finally, regular fellowship with faithful brothers and sisters in Christ provides much help in the shining of God's light into our hearts and minds, and thus causing us to together "think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).

Our minds need to be changed. Good and true thinking needs to be enhanced with even better thinking. Wrong thoughts need to expunged by the entrance of truth. And new thoughts never before considered need to be added to our minds, causing us to know our God and His blessed reality in ways presently beyond our imagination. Realizing that our loving Heavenly Father is working to accomplish this purpose, and that it is His goodness that leads us to repentance will go far in enabling us to know a changed mind, and a changed life.

"Be renewed in the spirit of your mind."
(Ephesians 4:23)

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