Tuesday, March 01, 2005

A Beautiful Mind (1)

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 TNIV)
Think about whatever is true.

We live in a very false world! Sometimes it seems like there’s no end to the production of things false or fake. We constantly find ourselves leaning on things that are hollow and that let us down. Is there nothing that isn't "plastic?" It's easy to become jaded about it all and conclude that there’s nothing in this world that's truly genuine.

And nothing could be more false!

For the Christian mind has the potential to see the false for what it is in fact. The Christian can know “the true” is out there because the true God is out there. It’s the Christian who believes that it is God who created the truly “real world.” And it’s the Christian, the one in touch with the Creator, who’s enabled to see the things that are solid and enduring.

The Christian mind knows that there’s one who deceives who walks through this world as if he owns it. The Christian knows Satan is the master of deception, but realizes the deceiver creates all that is false only because he can imitate, albeit for a corrupt purpose, what is true. The Christian knows “the true” is out there; it needs only to been seen.

And so the Christian mind is an inquiring mind that is on a ceaseless quest for what is true. It is not a mind content to remain naïve or confused. It is a mind sensitive to the fact that appearances can be deceiving. It is a mind fully aware of Satan's devices:
“. . . Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14 TNIV)
Consequently, the growing Christian strives to grow a mind that is not quickly taken in by anything. The quest is for a reflective mind that doesn't fall for smooth words or slick promises. “Who” believes it or “how many” follow after it isn’t the standard for the Christian mind. Instead, the truly Christian mind realizes it has the standard by which it can gauge what is real and true - and what is not. And that standard is God’s word:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. . . . By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:7-9,11 NIV)
The Christian mind is an honest mind that refuses to lie to itself, but thinks about itself legitimately. It refuses to deceive itself or to live in a land of illusion. It doesn't think more highly of itself than it ought to think, but sees itself for what it is - a gift of God saved from destruction and transformed into an instrument of God’s service. It’s a mind that’s ever contrite and humble, yet ever vigorous and active. For it knows that if anything is true, it’s true that God will judge its thoughts and attitudes:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12-13 TNIV)
“. . . let your minds be filled with everything that is true . . .” (Philippians 4:8 NJB)
“Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6 TNIV)
Father in heaven, you are what is true. You are love. Make me, therefore, your servant and your child, into one who is loving and true. Give me eyes to see the things that are real and give me a heart that embraces what is genuine. Deliver me from mindless agreement with the herd who live without thinking, but save me from thinking I am smart enough to steer my own life without your aid. Deliver me from both mindless following and self-steering pride. Help me transform my mind into something that is not spiritually plastic, but into something that is eternally true. True to you in every way. This I pray in Jesus name. Amen.