What would you do if you were wrongly accused of a crime? You’re on trial and about to appear before a judge and jury with your testimony of events. How would you respond? What steps would you take to be prepared to testify?
I’m an organized, to-do-list kind of girl. So I would probably have a binder full of documents, pieces of evidence, and whatever else I needed to present my case fully to the jury. I would be as prepared as a person possibly could be.
Peter actually addressed this very issue:
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.– 1 Peter 3:13-16 (NIV)
To say that the early church was greatly persecuted is a vast understatement. Paul was put on trial, persecuted, and imprisoned throughout his ministry. He was even stoned at one point and dragged outside the city assumed to be dead. (Acts 14:19-20) The church was “eager to do good” but often suffered for their choice to follow Christ and spread His message. In the midst of being threatened, Peter tells them to be prepared to share their reason for hope. And not with anger or force, but with gentleness and respect.
I’m not sure what I would need to be prepared for most – having an answer to give or speaking that answer in truth and love. Continue Reading
What does the Bible mean when it tells us to be sober-minded? Obviously, the first thought to come to mind in terms of the word “sober” is abstaining from alcohol. But is that what the Bible is telling us? Is it telling us not to drink? I personally believe that the biblical definition of being sober-minded goes beyond abstaining from drunkenness. We are called to keep our minds alert and prepared for action. In fact, the Bible speaks of our “sober” mind most often in the case of warfare. Continue Reading
How often do you think about your thought life? For most of my life, I just let my mind do its thing. Thoughts were thoughts. I couldn’t control them – right? Wrong. Not only is it possible to change your thinking, we are commanded to do so as believers. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Renewing your mind towards Christ is a daily (sometimes minute to minute) process. And it starts by learning how to guard your mind. Continue Reading
What does it mean to be double-minded? As we’ve discussed throughout this series, your mind and your thought life are crucial. We are called to have the mind of Christ, to meditate on Him and His promises, and to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from the inside out by the renewing of our minds.
Meditation is nothing new. It’s a part of many traditions and religions, and studies have shown it to have great benefits in terms of health and stress levels. Setting aside the fact that it may actually be good for us, many Christians consider it to be sinful. Have you ever wondered why that is?
The answer lies in the simple fact that it is practiced heavily by other religions. Many of these religions use meditation to focus on the mind. They train themselves to control their thoughts, which in turn changes their perception of the world. They are better able to cope with stress, become more compassionate and peaceful people, manage their emotions, and become diligent in their thought life. Sounds all good right? Continue Reading
My young daughters are constantly bombarded with messages telling them to do the right thing. Even secular books and television teach them to live by an “inner moral code.” The world calls this your conscience. But as believers, are we supposed to listen to our conscience? Is this biblical? Continue Reading
The world knows that positive thinking is good for us. Nearly every self-help book on the market will tell you that your mind plays a crucial role in shaping not only your life but also your health.
I used to believe that positive thinking belonged to the world. I would see “positive” encouragements online (with the absence of God of course) and think to myself how wrong the whole positive thinking movement is. The problem with that, however, is that positive thinking was God’s idea first. The world simply took a spiritual truth, removed God, and packaged it up for everyone who needed it.
It caught on because it works. And it works, because it’s a God-given spiritual truth.Continue Reading
Is it biblical to have an open mind? Many in the church today would probably say no. Open-mindedness is often associated with worldly thinking and culture. It’s an acceptance of all faiths and lifestyles in a way that says, “There are many paths to God.” But the truth is that open-mindedness was actually God’s idea. Not in the way that it’s preached today, but in a way that says, “My mind is open to things of God, and I want to fill it with nothing but Him.” Continue Reading
When the Bible talks about having a renewed mind in Christ, it leaves much of the responsibility to us. We are called to change our thinking, guard our minds in Christ, and actively pursue filling our minds with the things of God. Now that doesn’t mean God leaves us empty-handed. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are given the strength we need to accomplish the task. God has certainly equipped us with some powerful tools to help us live out our faith. Continue Reading
Does renewing your mind ever seem like an impossible task? For me personally, changing the way my mind thinks and processes information seems like a daunting task. But there is hope! (Thank goodness – right?) When the Bible discusses the concept of renewing your mind, it places much of the emphasis on us. We have to be the ones to make the choice to think differently, but that doesn’t mean God left us empty-handed. In fact, He never calls us to do something He hasn’t already equipped us to do.
Christians hear the word repentance quite often. It’s an essential part of our faith, to say the least. As a child, I was taught that it meant being sorry for your sins. But as I grew older, I began to see that true repentance extends far beyond a simple, “I’m sorry.” Rather, it’s a complete transformation. Continue Reading
We know that renewing your mind is important, and we’ve studied the benefits. But where do we begin exactly? If renewing your mind is a process, then what does that process entail? Fortunately, the Bible gives us quite a bit of insight into where to start. Continue Reading
Today marks the first day of my 31-day writing challenge – 31 days of renewing your mind. Every October, bloggers come together and take on the challenge of writing for 31 days straight on one topic. (You can find out more about #write31days here.) Since I started blogging, I’ve watched Octobers come and go wishing I had the time to take on such a feat. Well, I’m not sure I have more time this year, but I certainly feel like God has placed a specific topic on my heart. And for that reason, I will take the challenge! Continue Reading