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How’s your mind?

We slowly eeked our way into Level 3 of the lockdown, while being encouraged to stay in the waiting room and not rush our recovery from Level 4 surgery. But then the sun came out, and so did we. Overloading the beaches, bubbles were bursting quicker than a 5 year olds balloon party. Why do we (if you want to feel slightly better you can say why do they) do this? Sometimes we react or respond with our minds the rational part of our brains, at other times we respond with the emotional part of our brains. The rational we can call the blue (think cool) track, the emotional we can call the red (think hot) track. When confronted with any situation whether it be large or small we can choose how to respond, blue track or red track. Will we consider how other people are thinking/feeling (blue) or will we just think/feel about ourselves (red)? The ability to control our own emotions and think when we have to make critical decisions is studied closely by sports scientists and military trainers. Decisions matter on the battlefield, but they also matter every day in our lives too.

Romans 12:1 Paul urges the Romans in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice... what does this mean? To the westerner unused to a culture of sacrificing – we think of sacrifice in terms of soldiers dying on battlefields, or a reduction in my rights or a giving up of my rights. (The concept of rights is not entirely one which would have been familiar to the readers of Paul’s writing – it seems to me this is an invention of latter years – but that’s for another time!). Paul goes on to say, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Sacrifice – Be transformed by mind renewal – THEN – you will test and approve what God’s will is.

We are not transformed by our hearts being more in tune with Him, or our feelings being lighter but by the renewing of our minds. Our minds. What we think and how we think. We should be challenging our minds as to what we think of God and what God thinks of us.

You will have heard it said before that forgiveness is not a onetime act; it is a continuing choice to forgive. This is true also of love – no-one wants to be told they are loved on their wedding day and never again for the rest of their life. Imagine that relationship where one of the pair says in exasperated tones, ‘You know I love you – I told you on our wedding day 25 years ago!’ And so it is with an ongoing expression of love or forgiveness so it is too with our minds being renewed. It is not enough to say I believe this because I gave my heart to God when I was seven, growth is critical to a loving and living relationship both on the blue and red track.

My grandmother in her nineties astounded me by saying something like this; ‘there’s still so much to learn about God.’ I thought surely by your nineties it would all be sorted out.

How do we renew our minds then? Two words: conform & transform. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind. We are to be thinking am I conforming or being transformed? We are to think are my behaviours the same as everyone else on this planet or am I being transformed to the behaviours of Christ? We are to think (blue track), not simply respond (red track). When we see our friends, family and work colleagues will we think? When we read/write Facebook posts will we think? When the world comes knocking on our doors will we think?

We are blessed with the opportunity and ability to be transformed in our minds so that we will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. Surely, that is something worth thinking about!

Think and grow in His grace,

7 May 2020

Previous Blogs

The News... : Warren, 1st July 2020
Shhh - Listen : Warren, 19th June 2020
Relief? : Warren, 11th June 2020
On the Cusp : Warren, 4th June 2020
In the Beginning... : Warren, 28th May 2020
Seasons : Warren, 21st May 2020
Aroha|Love : Warren, 14th May 2020
How is your mind? : Warren, 7th May 2020
On the Level : Warren, 1st May 2020
Signs : Warren, 24th April 2020
Whakaaria Mai : Warren, 15th April 2020
Essential Worker or Not? : Warren, 8th April 2020
Rumours : Warren, 1st April March 2020
What Would Jesus Do? : Warren, 25 March 2020