You Are What You Think

Romans 12: 1-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

1 Peter 1:13-16: Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Ephesians 4:22-24: 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.

I find myself wanting more and more to control what my children are exposed to through the internet and television. My youngest daughter loves the game of basketball so we have been watching the NBA Finals this past week on television. I have been dismayed at the commercials that have been aired throughout these telecasts. Beer commercials are prevalent of course, along with those ads that promote sex, violence, and the constant glorification of the modern day athlete. I lost count of how many times I changed the channel during most every commercial break so that my daughter would not be exposed to these types of ads. As a parent, I certainly can’t control everything that she is exposed to but I most definitely can teach her how to fill her mind with things that are good.

Even churches today feel the pressure and give in to what society deems acceptable. They allow worldly obsessions and ideas to infiltrate the life of the church. They figure that it’s just too difficult a task to constantly fight against the culture of our day and so they give up. When the church, created to be set apart from the world, gives in to the desires of popular culture, it becomes an ineffective witness to living a good and holy Christian life.

The church today must strive to better communicate to believers, the battle that is being waged over the thoughts of the mind. We must live, as Paul would say, as “citizens of heaven,” instead of lovers of this world.” Satan is the ruler of this world and he will stop at nothing to pollute the minds of believers and divert their thoughts away from God. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:1-2).

Paul, in writing to the church at Ephesus, plainly tells them, as a believer and follower of Christ, your mind has been transformed. The thoughts and the impure desires of the “old self” are to be abandoned for the “new self,” that is being constantly being transformed and created to think pure thoughts. “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3).

I encourage you to actively work at changing the attitude of your mind, by keeping your thoughts and your mind fixed upon God, and those things which are pure. The Apostle Peter challenges us to “prepare our minds for action.” We must take responsibility for our impure thoughts and we must challenge ourselves to focus on the things of God which are good and worthwhile. Satan is waging a war for control of our minds. As followers of Christ, we must be aware of that and strive to overcome those forces of evil that desperately want to destroy both mind and body.

Colossians 3:1-4: Since, then, 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. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

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