Category: Thinking & Thought

Philippians 4:8-9

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.

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, honorable, 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). How closely does your thinking match the Lord’s?

Ephesians 4:20-24

We are the product of our thinking, so it is important that we choose carefully where to focus our mental energy. We can cling to our old flesh patterns and consequently find ourselves tripping over impulses and attitudes like bitterness, pride, and discontent. The wise alternative is to reprogram our thinking to match that of Jesus Christ.

Our current thought processes—such as the way we view ourselves and others, and how we approach problems—have been programmed by authority figures, church, friends, and even enemies. We can select some of our mind’s influences (e.g., the media) but not all (e.g., our parents). Yet we can choose what input will shape our mind by believing and dwelling on that material.

Reprogramming the mind is a matter of choosing to believe and meditate upon God’s truth. When you receive Jesus Christ as Savior, your mind is renewed with a capacity for godly thought. It might not seem different at first. But the longer you live the Christian life and apply biblical principles, the more you’ll find old habits and modes of thinking will be choked out. However, anytime you yield to temptation, you allow old thought patterns an opportunity to rise up and dominate first your mind, and then your mouth and hands.

The way to strangle fleshly thoughts and attitudes is to pour scripture into the mind regularly and frequently (Ps. 119:11). When we allow our thinking to be directed by the thoughts of God—which is what the Bible is made of—we will think, speak, and act according to His will.