The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10, ESV)
God gave us our minds so we can learn about Him and from Him and willingly choose to follow Him. Put on the mind of Christ.
There is a wealth of information in the Bible about the mind, how to use it, and how to protect it. Isaiah calls us to “reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). Jesus emphasizes loving God “with all your…mind” (Mark 12:30). Paul encourages living a transformed life by the “renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2) and by making “every thought captive” to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Paul further counsels us to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5 / KJV). James warns against having an unstable or “double mind” (James 1:8 / KJV). And Solomon, who God blessed with profound wisdom, prefaced much of his guidance with this caution: “Keep (guard / protect) your heart (which also includes the will and intellect) with all diligence” (Proverbs 4:23).
Why Focus on the Mind?
Why such a focus on the mind? Because our adversary, the devil, enjoys planting seeds of doubt, confusion, uncertainty, despondency, and/or self-sufficiency in our minds. He wants to demoralize us, damage our reputations, diminish our witness for Christ, and ultimately defeat us. But our victory is assured when we habitually read God’s Word, believe it in faith, and apply it to our daily lives.
Knowledge, wisdom, experience, and maturity are elements of mental capacity. Knowledge is your lifelong accumulated learning—what you know. Wisdom is judging rightly and appropriately applying what you know to your life. Experience (both positive and negative) is living through life events and realizing the effects of those events. Maturity is learning from life experiences (your own as well as other people’s) and choosing not to repeat the same mistakes. All four “intellectual tools” work together to support our reasoning capacity and the exercise of our freewill. Using a spiritual application, we see the learning progression:
- Knowledge – God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever-present
- Wisdom – He knows my beginning, ending, and His sovereign plan for my life
- Experience – When I trust and obey Him, He blesses me; when I stray from Him, He disciplines me to bring me back to Himself
- Maturity – I willingly choose to stay close to His side, listen to His voice, and follow His leading
Isaiah 26:3 confirms that God will “keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed” on Him. Thus, we find that wisdom and true peace come from having a mind full of God. So what’s on your mind?
- What dominates your mind (thoughts, doubts, imaginations, fantasies, etc.)?
- How does what you think about influence your life and the choices you make?
- What actions can you take to keep your mind “stayed on” God?