Many people agree that the mind is the control center of the person’s character and virtue. The greatest battles a person faces is frequently fought in the mind, and therefore it is a very precious and important part of our life both physical and spiritual.
The Lord Jesus Himself tells us that a we must love the Lord with “all your mind…”. The mind cannot be divided in its allegiance and devotion to the Lord.
James tells us that we are most tempted by our ‘desires’ and while ‘desire’ is often attributed to the heart, the mind plays an active role in planning and scheming the necessary actions to achieve that ‘desire’.
As such, the mind, the very wellspring of our thought life, needs to be closely watched, guarded and molded to conform to the will of God.
Admittedly, there are times when I wish this verse didn’t exist, but it does exist, and it was inspired by God Himself – so we cannot down play they authority it claims in our life. Yes, it’s in the bible, in the plainest of words, yet with the highest authority it tells us what should be governing our thought life.
This verse has been a very useful verse for me when making decisions and raising the family, in fact, much to my own personal dismay, I have found that there are a number of things I have had to forsake in order to conform to the command in this verse.
Because of Phil 4:8…
1. My family and I choose, very selectively, what movies we watch. The movies today reek with advanced computer graphics and animations (which I absolutely love watching), but the stories are laded with everything that is against the Lord and Phil 4:8. Most movies contain ‘lies’. Actors behave unbecomingly, ‘not right’. Story does not portray ‘excellent’ and ‘praiseworthy’ conduct that can be used examples for young children. You can see why movies is just not our family.
2. I have to give up music I love listening – i used to be a HUGE U2 fan, but had to give up listening to them as they’re lyrics were not ‘pure’ and ‘lovely’.
3.Whenever I get asked, “why the other kids can do such-and-such a thing, but I can’t?”, this verse helps give a ‘biblical’ reason for why we should or shouldn’t do something, so the kids learn that our decision to refrain from something, is not because ‘dad and mom said so’, but because the bible tells us to guard our mind and fill it with and invoke out of it good and right thoughts.
So allow me to challenge you to examine some areas of your life in light of this verse above, and see if any changes need to be made.
I made some drastic changes, and thought it didn’t please the flesh when I made the changes, now I feel the sense of liberty and joy that I didn’t have before.
“When I am king they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.”
― Mark Twain, The Prince and the Pauper
“Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings
A mind not to be chang’d by Place or Time.
The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.”
― John Milton, Paradise Lost (emphasis mine).