the mind


Our minds are amazing things. I have found times where I dwell on junk in my mind. Dreams lost, relationships failed, sins committed. I am a process thinker so I sometimes look to the past and consider my life course. If I linger too long in what’s already happened I can wind up in the ditch and I have time to do this. At work the mind can go into autopilot and it can easily end up looking back and spiral downward. As I was doing this a few nights ago a text came to mind for me out of Philippians 4.

[2] I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. [3] Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
[4] Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. [5] Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; [6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
[8] Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. [9] What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:2-9 ESV)

If one or both of my daughters marry and if one or both of them were to have a baby or babies, I’ve heavily hinted at the names ‘Seven’ and ‘Soda’ in the past. If those names don’t make the cut, ‘Eudia’ and ‘Syntyche’ may make it to the top of the list!

Anyway, these two ladies had some stuff that they were disagreeing on and I’d suggest that it was minor, a Romans 14 grey area thing. If it wasn’t, I think Paul would have named the issue. He tells them to get vertical instead of horizontal. I need to hear that often and maybe you do too. He reminds them of their work in the gospel together and he says ‘rejoice in Jesus’. And He’s enough to make us rejoice. That’s why when songs like ‘Behold Our God’, “In Christ Alone’ and ‘And Can It Be’ are sung, the tears will sometimes stream down our faces. Through all the difficulty, we know that we are His. Through His cross work, that can’t change. Amen? Paul says ‘you shared in His message together’, and the gospel is the message that is so worth partnering together with.

Paul has lots to tell us. Be reasonable :5. Worry about nothing, pray about everything :6. And he reminds us that as we do these things that peace will come and warm our souls.

I want to hang on :8. He wants out minds to be immersed, saturated, marinated in the true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy things.

One time I was marinating a roast in a container and it got set at the top of the stairs to be put in the fridge downstairs before I was off to work. I was racing around getting ready for the day, forgot about the roast, and I accidentally punted that thing downstairs. And you can imagine the mess all over when it broke open. I’m grateful that one of the girls helped me clean it up. I bunny trail a bit but why do we marinade meat? We marinade meat so that when we eat it we want to taste the flavour of the marinade.

When we linger over the things that Paul commends us to linger over, it marinades our mind with the good and that flows out into our lives. In my time at work, I try to prioritize praying but also meditating and memorizing Scripture. I try to sing through some of the songs of the faith, new and old. It’s amazing how a grumpy berry can turn into a peace-filled believer! And that’s where :9 goes. Peace comes through thinking on the good stuff and people catch the scent from us. The more that we marinate our minds in the good things of God, the more our speech and our lives will carry the aroma of Jesus.

So if you want to have an impact on the unbelieving world, spend time thinking on the good.

[15] For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, (2 Corinthians 2:15 ESV) 



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