Article by John Warren AntalikaDeacon at GraceLife London
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded,…”
1 Peter 1:13
The Mind in a Mindless Culture
We live in a mindless culture. You probably nodded as you read this statement because a quick survey of our culture proves it to be true. Today’s world generates so much information thereby requiring the vital use of the mind yet we see the opposite taking place, the neglect of the mind. That is largely due to the sad reality that emotions have taken the front seat of the human faculty. Instead of emotions being the product of the activity of the mind, it has become the source that drives our thinking and, therefore, our actions.
This is particularly dangerous since we live in an age where we can have instant emotional gratification. If I can have instant gratification, why use my mind? Simply stated, we live in a culture where the mind has been demoted and emotions has been promoted and that’s dangerous.
“We live in a culture where the mind has been demoted and emotions have been promoted and that’s dangerous.”
The Mind in a Mindless Christianity
But as Christians, we cannot allow the way of the culture to determine our way. Unfortunately, many Christians have fallen into following the way of the culture. Several articles have been written, conferences held and sermons preached in order to counter what is called “Mindless Christianity.” It is called “Mindless Christianity” because many in the Church are thoughtlessly going along with how they feel rather than what they think to be true biblically and thereby acting on it. Their conscience is held captive to how they feel rather than to the truth and this is even more dangerous. We are not called to be merely feeling Christians but mindful Christians whose feelings are bound with truth which is the result of the activity of the mind. When we neglect the mind, we open ourselves to the vast opportunities to gratify our flesh and that’s the opposite of walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:16-26).
“We are not called to be merely feeling Christians but mindful Christians whose feelings are bound with truth which is the result of the activity of the mind.”
Being a Mindful Christian in a Mindless Culture
So as a Christian, do you mind your mind? Do you value and make use of this God given faculty? After all, we are called to love the Lord our God with all our mind (Matt 22:37). We are not suggested to use our mind but commanded to do so. Peter, writing to persecuted Christians, summoned them to continually prepare their minds for action and to be sober-minded (1 Peter 1:13). Paul calls the believers in Rome to be transformed by the renewal of their mind (Romans 12:2). Paul again, tells the Philippians to have this mind which was also in Christ (Phil 2:5). There are many other passages which shows the value and the necessity of the mind in the Christian life but also the danger of not using it.
“We are not suggested to use our mind but commanded to do so.”
In order to be mindful Christians, we must ensure that we are constantly feeding and nurturing our minds. But the feeding and the nurturing must come from the Word of God. It is the Word of God that must be stored in us and be the source of the activity of the mind so that we can discern what is pleasing to God. We must have it so stored in our minds that we are emotionally gratified in it. The Psalmist writes “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11) When you sin, you can be certain that it has a direct connection to what you think. This is why biblical thinking must be a continuous activity of the mind. Therefore you have to ask yourself, “Am I storing God’s Word in my heart? Am I using my mind as I think through the circumstance of life? Or am I just following the course of my feelings?”
As Christians, we must value our minds and make them captive to the Word of God. The outcome of this will be the right emotions, a clear conscience and it will make us distinct from this mindless world.