BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS RENEWING THE MIND

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Only someone without a sound mind will continue living with the same mind frame, attitude and lifestyle as they transition from childhood to adolescence, adolescence to adulthood and adulthood to parenthood. Such behaviour would betray a total lack of adjustment to the various stages of life and portray a clear pattern of underdevelopment and growth.

As we age and accumulate experience on how to live, we ought to show maturity for having gone through a certain passageway in life. Experience acquired on the way must reveal that in the course of our earthly journey we have been obligated to renew our minds. The apostle Paul wrote, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

This is a call to abandon our old ways of ‘doing things’ in order to adopt a new approach to life which will lead us to godliness and holiness. In other words, we cannot persist in living modes of life without reference to the Word of God and the purposes laid down for them. It does mean that we can no longer afford to live for ourselves guided by our own whims and fancies -- without paying heed to the directives of God for a purpose-driven and successful life here on earth. 

In our march towards godliness, we must, like the apostle Paul proudly state; “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became like a man, I put childish things behind me.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) Though physically we are ageing, it is not at the expense of our spiritual awareness which is from within and may not be openly visible. “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day .... So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16, 18)

In this regard, we are constantly reminded that we must set our eyes on things above, not on earthly things. “Since you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:1-2, 5)

To further drive home the point, the apostle Paul underlined that our bodies are just earthly tents, temporary ‘houses’ for our spirit beings. We must therefore limit the attention given to our bodies and rather seek to secure for ourselves a permanent abode in heaven where nothing gets corrupted. “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” The apostle Paul was buttressing the point made by our Lord Jesus that we should not put too much emphasis on what we will eat, drink or wear. Life is more important than food and the body more important than clothes.

We must get our priorities right concludes our Lord Jesus. God, our heavenly Father knows what our material needs are. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

Human measurements are faulty. We cannot rely on them for accessing heaven, our final abode. When we base our thinking on philosophers and great thinkers, we delude ourselves. “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves they are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12b) Wisdom is the property of a divine and supreme God. We must guard our hearts for they are the wellspring of life. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding...” (Proverbs 3:5)

Salvation from eternal damnation is a gift from God to all who believe in the finished work of His Son Jesus Christ who paid the price for humanity’s sins on the cross. He did it once and for all. The message of the cross cannot go unheeded. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

We might be harbouring the feeling of total inadequacy in our bid to meet God’s standards of living, nothing to cry about. Without Jesus in our lives, this feeling will taunt us. In our walk with God, Christ is the direction. He is the sole mediator between God and man. (Acts 12:4)

Let us not lose heart, like the apostle Paul; “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b-14)

All is not lost; make that your goal as well. It definitely is worth it.

Author: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye