Everyone recognizes our diets directly affect the health and working of our bodies. And while we may not eat right 100% of the time, most of us try to do what’s best for our bodies overall. Unfortunately, sometimes we aren’t as careful with what we feed our minds. The popularity of “Fifty Shades of Grey” with Christian women is just one example. And it shows in our spiritual health. However, the Bible shows a direct correlation between what we put into our minds and our outward actions:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2, NIV
In Romans 12:2, Paul says our spiritual transformation occurs through “the renewing of our minds.” According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, the noun “renewing” means “the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of God, which is designed to have a transforming effect upon the life.”
The way we think directly affects our character and behavior. What we put into our brains will impact our holiness. For instance, if we repeatedly and exclusively hear society’s view that God’s teaching on sexual relationships is outdated and waiting for marriage is ridiculous, then we are likely to have sex outside of marriage. But if we learn about God’s perfect design for sexuality and marriage and accept His Word as timeless truth, it’s more likely our behavior will line up with that thinking.
What our culture considers “good, moral, and acceptable” is a far cry from the truth of God’s Word. When we watch, read, and participate in things out of line with God’s truth our thinking becomes desensitized. As our thinking shifts and conforms to the world our character and behavior will follow.
We will do what we think.
Only the Holy Spirit can transform us (Titus 3:5), but we can cooperate with His work by feeding our mind with truth. Let’s ask God to show us where our thinking is out of line with His truth. Let’s ask Him to renew our thinking and transform our spiritual health. And let’s cooperate with Him in practical ways.
God’s Word tells us to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Could these characteristics describe the things you’re allowing into your mind?
The renewing of our minds and our personal holiness is an ongoing process. We must continue to reject the leanings of our old sinful nature. We must continually override the “wisdom” of the world by allowing God’s truth to reprogram our thinking. Old patterns and habits are not easy to break. It takes time and relentless vigilance.
The more we renew our thinking, the more clearly we will discern the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Since our thinking will be lining up with His, there will be less confusion and more clarity. Our minds will be set on what the Spirit desires and our lives will be holy and pleasing to God.
List every way you can think of that we can feed our minds with the truth of God’s Word and override the lies from our culture.
Kathy Howard’s new book, Embraced by Holiness: The Path to God’s Daily Presence, helps readers discover a deeper intimacy with God through a life of holiness. This six-week, interactive Bible study explores why believers should pursue holiness and guides readers through practical steps to pursuing a holy life.