‘I Think, therefore I am’ – Rene Descrates
A person sitting at his desk and staring out of the window would never be assumed to be working. Thinking is generally not equated with work. Yet, had Newton under his tree, or Archimedes in his bathtub bought into that prejudice, some natural laws would still be up in the air, or floating in a tub.
The Bible places supreme value in the thought life. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” Proverbs 23:7. Jesus asserted that the gravity of sin lay in the thought itself, and not just the act. Paul admonished the church at Philippi to have the mind of Christ, and to the same people he wrote, “Whatever is true noble.. pure.. lovely.. admirable.. praiseworthy- think on these things.” Philippians 4:8.
The follower of Christ must demonstrate to the world what it is not just to think, but to think and behave justly, honestly and wisely. We ought to know that our thoughts are not hidden from God and eventually the thought is always reflected and followed by deed. But how does one manage this purity of thought in a culture where progress is determined by pace and survival has nothing to do with sanctity. Just as always, the search for answers to all the complex issues of life begins and ends with God and His Word.
- Study of Gods Word – Nothing ranks higher for mental discipline than a planned and systematic study of God’s Word. It should be from here that life’s parameters and values are planted in the mind. In Deuteronomy 11:18-21 God commands us..’Fix these Words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your fore heads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on your door frames of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land…’ or in simpler terms..’never depart’ from the Word, for in John 1 its says that..’In the beginning was the Word…and the Word was God’… Gods presence in your life is through His Word…!!
- Guard your heart – Proverbs 4:23 says ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life’.
“The wellspring” is that place where everything bubbles out from. You know the old saying, “It isn’t your actions that tell so much about what you are like as it is your reactions.” What springs forth in that unexpected moment comes from the heart. Like David says ..’test me O God, and know my anxious thoughts..’. Love, faith, and inspiration – or frustration, anger and criticism – all spring from the same place. The heart is a place that needs guarding because things sneak in and we often don’t even realize they are there, clogging the system, until that reaction springs forth, surprising even ourselves.
So how does one guard the heart? By first guarding the thoughts. Thoughts not taken captive begin to run in our minds and make their way down into our hearts where they become an attitude, and attitudes permeate our lives and create habits which paves our destiny…!
When we are powerless to take captive our thoughts, our hearts remain unguarded. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us guard our hearts and change the attitudes. Romans 12:2 states ‘….be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ Andy Stanley in a message I heard suggests asking these questions at the end of each day to protect our hearts;
-Is everything Ok in my heart?
-Am i mad at anyone?
-Am i waiting for someone to make things right with me?
-Have i had imaginary extended conversations with someone?
-Do i lose the filter and embarrass myself with my words?
-Have i celebrated someone else’s failure?
-Do i have a secret eating away in me?
-Is there a question i hope that no one asks?
-Have i lied to someone i love recently?
C. Love – ‘.., by this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another’ John 13:35. The ten commandments in the new testament are summed up into two.. ’Love the Lord your God..’, and ‘Love your neighbor..’. Stephen Covey in his book stated, ‘people don’t listen to you as much as, they watch your feet’ and ‘what you DO counts more than what you SPEAK’. We are the salt in this world, the source of light to this lost world, the ambassadors of a Kingdom unseen and bearers of the victorious cross. The only virtue that will differentiate us who are born of God, from the lost born of Adam, has to be a virtue so distinct in itself, that it will cause those who watch us closely to see Jesus the eternal, and not the frailty of mortal man. That virtue can only be a LOVE that is selfless and sacrificial, looking at the others benefits more than ours. 1 John 2:6 ‘whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.’
(by Aby. M)