Along with the will and emotions, the mind is part of the soul, the control centre or decision-making part of us. Through our minds, we interact with the inner world of thoughts, desires and motives, and the outer world through our five senses of hearing, seeing, tasting, touching and smelling. The mind is to be a sieve and not a sponge – separating out the valuable from the useless rather than absorbing everything that comes its way. We are not to live as non-Christians with ‘corrupt minds’ that do not understand or want to go God’s way (Rom 8:13; Eph 4:17-19; Tit 1:15).
God expects us to use our intellectual abilities. The only time we are to over-ride them is when our faith indicates otherwise. Becoming a Christian is not a reason to discard the thinking and reasoning capacity He gave us.
What we feed into the mind comes out in actions
is so important to guard the mind from what is negative and destructive, besides feeding it positive and uplifting material (1 Cor 6:12; Phil 4:8). The diet that the mind is fed will have a big influence on the resulting attitudes and lifestyle. Do I feed my mind on healthy, uplifting and truthful material that will benefit others and me. Do I put my mind (my full attention) into all I do, so that God will be glorified? (Neh 4:6; Mt 5:16; 1 Cor 10:31).
God has given us a sound mind so do not abuse it with substances that will destroy its immense capabilities (2 Tim 1:7). Unless the mind is under the spirit’s control, we may increase things out of their true perspective, eg. worry is a concern amplified by a negative and fearful mind. The mind is our major battlefield and like the rudder on a ship, it decides which direction any forward movement will take – providing direction, motivation and persuasion (Dan 10:12; 2 Tim 1:12).
The mind and heart work in tandem, with the motivation of the heart exerting powerful input. Satan attacks using weapons such as doubts, discouragement and dissatisfaction, with ignoring God leading to a depraved mind. As Christians, we are to have renewed minds, being transformed from within by replacing old, corrupted, dysfunctional ideas and thought patterns with life-giving ideas from God, resulting in a lifestyle that honours Him as we increasingly walk in newness of life, loving Him with “Our entire mind” (Mt 22:37; Rom 1:28, 6:4, 12:1,2; 1 Cor 2:14; 2 Cor 5:17). This process involves walking with Jesus in daily surrender to Him, wholesome input and disciplined choice when tempted.
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind – Romans 12:2
and peace, with the desires of the body in submission. The other choice is to give in to the carnal, sinful nature and experience death – we decide which one will be the victor (Gen 4:7; Rom 7:21-25, 8:5-9). The Bible instructs us not to worry, but pray with thanksgiving, as answered prayer and His peace will guard our minds as we fully trust in Him (Isa 26:3; Phil 4:6,7).
Healing of memories
The past events, stored as good and bad experiences in the memory, hold a powerful influence over our present thoughts, attitudes, actions and reactions. We need releasing from the destructive force of wrong mental impressions that stunt our Christian lives. It is our responsibility to put off the old nature and fully embrace the new we have received (Gal 5:17; Eph 4:22,24). When we became Christians the spiritual blindness in our minds was removed allowing us to see “the light of the gospel of Christ” (2 Cor 3:14-16, 4:3,4). However, continuing from the initial salvation experience there needs to be an ongoing walk into the light, appropriating more of the salvation benefits that Christ died to provide for us. As we study the Bible becoming aware of what is ours in Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to deal with the ‘dark’ areas of our minds we will increasingly be set free. Beware the devil does not ensnare you again through false teaching (deception is one of his key weapons) or being isolated from the corporate church fellowship (2 Cor 11:3; Gal 3:1-3, 5:1; Col 2:8; Heb 10:25; 1 Pet 5:8). In extreme cases professional help may be necessary to release people from harmful memories derived from their pre-Christian lives.
The Lord knows our thoughts and motives (Ps 94:11, 139:1-4; Lk 6:8). Through developing intimate fellowship with Christ we are able to have insight and understanding into some of God’s plans and thoughts (Ps 25:14; Am 3:7; Jn 15:15; 1 Cor 2:16). If we choose to align the thoughts of our minds with the truths of the Word, and live by their principles we will live victorious lives (Josh 1:8; Ps 1:1-3; Jn 6:63, 8:31,32). As Christians we should also be of “one mind” – having unity of purpose and co-operating together for the advancement of God’s Kingdom (Rom 15:5,6; 2 Cor 13:11; Phil 2:2, 4:2; 1 Pet 3:8).
Look at things from God's perspective
the mind has immense power for good or evil. We need a realistic yet positive mental attitude which is dependent on God through faith. We are instructed to “Set our mind on things above” in order to gain the right perspective on life (Col 1:21, 2:18, 3:2; Tit 1:15, 3:3). The Bible states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and rely not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths” (Prov 3:5,6).
See also: attitude, body/soul/spirit, choices, entry points, heart, inner healing, mental health, mentality, mind of Christ, mindset, positive mental attitude, remember, self-talk, thinking/thoughts, understanding, will.