Every Thought Captive

Every Thought Captive

The Herald News
July 17, 2013

When she hasn’t slept well, Cheryl will often say it was because her “mind was whirling.” No wonder it spins! She does Sudoku for fun (I can’t imagine). She is an educator with an unquenchable thirst for learning and personal growth. She stays awake reading books in bed—“It relaxes me,” she says—while I go to sleep as soon as I open a book. Without question, she is always thinking passionately about several vital, core pursuits: kids, Jesus, and our family. By this small sample you can see she has a fruitful minefield of whirling possibilities.

On the other hand, I am not nearly as smart as Cheryl and when my mind keeps me up it is more mundane. Last night I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about…a toilet…for the second night.

I am not Mr. Fix-it. But since I am rapidly advancing in quantity of years, I have serviced enough cheap plumbing to learn how to fix very simple problems—as long as the standard parts don’t change. This time they did. So, I am up nights, mind-whirling over old style parts that don’t fit in a new-fangled commode. Groan.

Back to minds that whirl (or not). Brain-everything is the fad: memory research, brain assessments, brain games, neurological institutes, brain fitness, and brain training. I recently saw this short list of brain fix-its: Learn something stimulating; sleep more than six hours a night; eat the right foods; challenge yourself by memorizing things like names; exercise with a friend. They didn’t mention repair privies…

I have great respect for Cheryl’s mind and the way she grows it. God certainly has life-shaping words about our minds and how important they are, for example:

* “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

* “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Isn’t it interesting that Jesus added “mind” to this “great commandment”?

* “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

Applications are many and profound. For example: Do I grasp the importance of truthful, helpful, convincing, convicting, healing thoughts in personal and congregational worship? Also, clearly one thing that distinguishes followers of Christ is we don’t empty our minds—we learn and engage truth and “take every thought captive to the mind of Christ.” Finally, How much time do I allow anti-Scriptural principles, ideas, activities, and thoughts to fill my day?

I saw this phrase that may slow me down in order to speed up a lifestyle of God-thoughts: “It takes time and intention and a slow, sustained gaze.” That’s especially helpful for folks like me who are rapidly advancing in quantity of years and can’t even spell “Sudoku” without help!


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