June 28, 2009
At salvation, we were set free from the power of sin and given the ability to think and live as Jesus did. To make that potential a reality requires diligent effort on our part — and surrender to the Holy Spirit.
In the book of Philippians, chapter 4, and verses 8 and 9, God’s Word says: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me — practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
After acknowledging a need for changed thinking, our first step is a commitment to pursue godliness. Then we must measure our opinions and choices against God's Word, regularly asking ourselves, Is my thinking attitude, or behavior in line with the character of God and the truths of Scripture? Also, we should take note of what is absorbing our attention. It is not healthy to fill our minds with media reports, Web sites, or television programs that do not reflect God's values. The apostle Paul gave us a measuring stick to use in deciding what is worthy of our attention: he said to dwell on those things that are true, honor-able, and worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8).
Finally, we must discipline our mind to reject ungodly thought patterns. Those who battle addictions can testify about the mind's power to overcome good intentions. Unhealthy, repetitious desires cause us to feel guilty, keep us from connecting with God, and make us a poor witness to others. Through the Holy Spirit's power, we must learn to reject such thought patterns and embrace what God says.
Developing a lifestyle of righteous living begins with what we believe. As our minds become in tune with Christ's, we will know what is right, good, and wise. Our lives will reflect His more closely and we will effectively live out our calling as His ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20). The important question, then, is how closely does your thinking match the Lord’s?