The screen would show an egg in a man’s hand. The voiceover would then say, “This is your brain.” The hand would then crack the egg in a heated iron skillet and, as the egg began to sizzle and fry, the voiceover would then say, “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” The lesson was clear; Don’t do drugs!
It seems messages like that remain more vivid in our minds than others. We’re fully versed on what to avoid yet unfamiliar with what to pursue. We know what not to do but we don’t know what we should do.
Most of us would acknowledge that eating a steady diet of snack cakes and soda is not the best for our bodies. However, we find it more difficult to identify what foods or diet is best for our bodies. While not drinking alcohol is good for the body it is not, in itself, what is best for the body. Exercise and eating a healthy diet of balanced fats, plenty of water, complex carbs and high in fiber is best for the body.
We often wrongly assume that the mere avoidance of harmful things is best for our body when in reality we must marry our avoidance of the bad with the pursuit of the good.
I fear many followers of Jesus Christ have followed this logic regarding our minds and our spirits. We equate the avoidance of harmful things to doing what is best for our hearts and minds. We define ourselves more by what we don’t do than by what we do.
I would submit that followers of Jesus Christ must engage themselves in more than the avoidance of evil but also the active pursuit of a meaningful and passionate relationship with Him, specifically as it has to do with our hearts and minds.
If we are to be disciples of Jesus Christ our thoughts and minds must be his as well as our hearts and bodies. Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27 all encourage us to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” We know how to love the Lord with our hearts and we’ll put our energies and strength into His service but we all too often neglect the dedication of our thoughts and minds to Him.
Christians must have disciplined minds. We have been called to “gird up the loins” of our mind (1Peter 1:13). That means prepare our mind for activity and discipline. We’re told that the Berean believers were diligent about the study of the Word of God, in that they searched the scriptures daily and had a “readiness of mind” (Acts 17:11).
Paul instructed the Roman church concerning the condition of their minds. He preached that the carnal mind was enmity against God and that to be carnally minded is death “but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-7). We’re told to be transformed by the “renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) and that with our mind and our mouth we can glorify God (Romans 15:6).
The believers in Ephesus were told that the life they lived before Christ was one defined as “corrupt” and full of “deceitful lusts” and that their new life in Christ would cause their minds to be renewed, bringing righteousness and “true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). The Bible also declares one of the promises in the Spirit are of “power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
We’re to be “sober minded” (Titus 2:6), single minded (1 Peter 3:8), of a ready mind (1 Peter 3:2), having pure minds (2 Peter 3:1), and having the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5 & 1 Peter 4:1).
All these things considered, I believe the sincere disciple of Jesus Christ must make every effort he can to discipline and ready his mind.