03 Jun Words of Grace – Lost in Our Thinking
A couple of times in my life I have been driving in my car and suddenly realized that I didn’t recognize where I was. I had become so deep in thought that I made driving decisions without conscious awareness of where I was going. Thankfully that hasn’t happened often!
But often in my life I have gotten lost in my thoughts. After a few minutes of contemplation (or brooding) I wake up and realize that my thinking has gone uncontrolled and veered off the path of reality. I’ve imagined conversations, fixated on problems, or lived in a fantasy world in my head. I’m guessing you have the same experience.
Minds that are given space to be creative are healthy. Minds left open to the deceptions of self and Satan are not. Minds that make plans to pursue Christ are productive. Minds that are driven along by whims are pliable to the point of instability and aimlessness. It’s one thing to free the mind of distractions for a greater purpose; it’s another thing to leave the mind to wander on its own with no direction.
Getting lost in our thinking is not helpful to our discipleship. The mind of the disciple of Jesus Christ must be disciplined. In Philippians 4:8 we are told to think and what to think about. No one said this is easy and no one does this perfectly. But the discipline of setting our minds on certain things is a must for maturity in Christ and productive discipleship. If we don’t discipline our thinking to be on Christ and his kingdom, we will not remain on the path of following him.
Staying mentally focused on Christ is first a matter of being made new in Christ. As Christians we have the Spirit of God in us, holding sway over our new minds with new thoughts. By grace through faith our minds are saved.
Then we set these new minds on new things – the things of Christ. With great intention we choose what we read, listen to, discuss, ponder, and process so we can keep our thinking clear and true, centered on Jesus Christ. We read the Bible. We compare our thinking with its truth. We apply its truth to our conversations and situations. When we realize that our thinking is out of step with the Bible (which will happen almost hourly), we make adjustments. We tell ourselves that our thinking needs to conform to Christ and then we think his thoughts.
This Sunday at Grace we will take up Philippians 4:8-9 and hear the call to think well and to practice the things we think about.
Take some time this weekend to read Philippians 4. If possible, read it with someone. Pray for Grace Community Church and one other church in Nashville as we prepare to gather for worship on Sunday.