Have you ever caught yourself in a conversation with another person…while you were in the shower…ALONE? You know, the place when you can be BOLD and say exactly what is on your mind. Rarely are these “shower sessions” Christ-honoring, at least they aren’t for me. You?
The problem with speaking those things that are “on our mind” is that they are often what is IN OUR HEART. Let’s be honest. If we focused on TRUTH, and the other things in Philippians 4:8, we wouldn’t be in the shower talking to ourselves. It is when we focus on our anger, unrighteousness, lies of the enemy…things that take our eyes off Christ, that we feel the need to have this conversation that we wouldn’t dare speak in person.The problem with speaking those things that are on our mind is they are often what is IN OUR HEART. Click To Tweet
Lesson 3 in Loving God with All Your Mind focuses on thinking the truth…about others. There are a couple principles Elizabeth George reminds us of in this lesson.
The Principle of Love – Let’s revisit that famous chapter on love in I Corinthians 13, specifically verses 4 – 7.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant, or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; t does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I Cor. 13:4-7
When someone tells you they’d like to talk to you after a meeting, does that do a number on your insides? What if your friend who you consistently chat with has not contacted you in several days? Do you assume you’ve done something wrong or that they are angry with you? If we truly love that person, we would not allow our minds to go there. We would be patient, waiting for them to call, or even call to check on them. Should we get angry or resentful. Of course not! We would believe the best about that person. Are you characterized by responding in love?
The Principle of a Clean Conscience – Matthew 18 give us clear instructions to carry out if a brother or sister in Christ has sinned against us.
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. Matthew 18:15
Using this principle, part of focusing on TRUTH is believing that your brothers and sisters in Christ will come to you if you have offended them. To spend precious time worrying about what you may or may not have done and if it has anything to do with why you haven’t heard from them recently, is simply wrong. Trust the Holy Spirit to convict you if you HAVE sinned and otherwise, choose to believe the truth of the Word of God!
I will be totally honest here and admit that this can be difficult for me. Many times you can look back to past relationships where we have been hurt and replay those old tapes again and again in our minds and hearts. That is not focusing on truth because it is not REAL in THIS situation. Taking our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ is not a one time deal. It is a battle that we will fight daily as long as we are on this earth. But God, (don’t you just love that phrase…But God…”) in His goodness, has given us the tools we need to be victorious in the battle!
I want to end this post with a passage from Loving God with All Your Mind because it sums up this lesson so well.
Do you want to nurture love and confidence in your relationships with others? Then changing your thought-life is key! By God’s grace and with His help, choose to think no evil about people. Determine to trust what others say and do. Count on others to come to you when you have failed them and count on God to reveal where you have offended them. Thoughts about people that are based on what is true and real will liberate you to generously and joyously love and serve one another. That’s what the Christian life is all about! Elizabeth George (p. 40)
Loving God With All Your Mind
I challenge you, and myself, to walk in truth as you enter the coming week. Then come back here and share your experience with us. Let’s encourage and learn from each other as we fight this battle.