What’s On Your Mind? 

Over the last 50 years, the West has witnessed the rise of Transcendental Meditation and Eastern mystery religions, most of which also have some form of meditation at their core. As a result, many followers of Christ have been suspicious of anything related to the concept of meditation. In spite of this hesitancy, biblical meditation can play a critical role in seeing our hearts and minds formed by the scriptures. Why is that so important? The Dictionary of Bible Themes describes the mind as:

“ . . . the seat of human consciousness, thought and desires. Scripture stresses that the minds of believers must be shaped by the knowledge and love of God, as their ways of thinking and acting become more like the pattern set out in Jesus Christ.”[1]

This means that the mind is the wellspring of understanding, will, values, priorities, and commitments. So, having our minds shaped by the scriptures will significantly impact the ways in which we view God, one another, and life. Needless to say, the scriptures have a lot to say about the mind.

 

Our minds define our true self.

“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (Luke 6:45)

Eerdman’s Bible Dictionary explains, “Old Testament writers understood the mind as the inner being of a person—much like a person’s heart. When the Gospels speak of a person’s mind, it is mostly in connection with a person’s heart as well (“in the thoughts of their heart”; see Luke 1:51, nasb).[2]

This aligns with Jesus’ words in Luke 6. The content of the heart (or mind) is the base out of which we live life—for good or for ill. So, who we really are—our true self—is defined by what fills our hearts and minds. This is either very good news or very bad news, dependent upon the nature of our heart’s contents. So, for broken people living in a broken world, is there hope that our hearts and minds can be changed?

 

Our minds can be renewed.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Our God has not left us to ourselves and our brokenness. He gives us all we need to have our hearts and minds “transformed” as we are made new in Him. The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “The Greek verb translated ‘transformed’ (metamorphousthe) is seen in the English word ‘metamorphosis,’ a total change from inside out (cf. 2 Cor. 3:18). The key to this change is the ‘mind’, the control center of one’s attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and actions (cf. Eph. 4:22–23). As one’s mind keeps on being made new by the spiritual input of God’s Word, prayer, and Christian fellowship, his lifestyle keeps on being transformed.”[3]

Spiritual renewal is a vital part of growing in Christlikeness, and God’s intent for each of His children is for Christ to be formed in us—a process that takes root as our minds are renewed and our lives transformed. Paul wrote of this ultimate goal, saying, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:29a), and that goal has not changed.

How, then, is this transformation realized?

 

Our minds reflect what we feed them.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

This is where biblical meditation comes into play, for it is one of the tools the Spirit uses to reshape our hearts and minds. “Dwell [think] on these things…” is the process of allowing those things that reflect the heart of our Father—things found in the scriptures—to feed our souls and impact our minds.

Pastor and teacher Warren Wiersbe wrote, “Wrong thinking leads to wrong feeling, and before long the heart and mind are pulled apart and we are strangled by worry. We must realize that thoughts are real and powerful, even though they cannot be seen, weighed, or measured. We must bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).”[4] As we think on, consider, ponder, and meditate on the scriptures we feed our hearts the true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and virtuous things that reflect the heart of the Father, the example of Jesus, and the desires of the Spirit.

Biblical meditation is not the only tool for the transforming of our hearts and minds, but it is a key one—and we can, by the Spirit, become more and more like Christ as we meditate on the scriptures that reveal Him to us.

To read more about meditating on Scripture, visit https://discoveryseries.org/courses/biblical-meditation

 

Suggested Further Reading:

The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Mark A. Noll)

Your Mind Matters: The Place of the Mind in the Christian Life (John Stott; Mark A. Noll)

 

Recovering the Christian mind: Meeting the challenge of secularism (Harry Blamires)

[1] Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.

[2] Carpenter, E. E., & Comfort, P. W. (2000). In Holman treasury of key Bible words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew words defined and explained (p. 335). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[3] Witmer, J. A. (1985). Romans. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 487). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[4] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 95). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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