As we enter the second month of the year, each of us would be benefited by thinking about thinking. In Romans, Paul tells us that we can be “transformed by the renewing of our minds”. That idea makes two assumptions. First, that we are people in need of transformation, and second, that a newness of thinking provides a key to that transformation. How many times have you been stuck on a problem or a decision, only to discovery the solution when a totally new idea is forwarded? Often that idea surfaces from outside of us, someone else’s thoughts enlighten our own.
The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit looks to be that catalyst in our lives. In writing to the church in Corinth, Paul again provides insights ” we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Taking thoughts captive includes both world views and internal personal thoughts.
For instance, our country’s current political discussions include a debate about the values of socialism and capitalism. We need to consider each perspective in light of the Word of God. On a personal level, many things pull at us that would wisely be captured by our Biblical lens. Perhaps it is a family matter or a business venture or a partnership, we would do well to hold all of those things up against the light of God’s Word.
Thankfully, the Lord has equipped us with His presence. The Spirit of God offers incredible access to right thinking. As those who find their legacy in Jesus, Paul again shares what that legacy includes “for who has known the mind of the Lord, the he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ”.(1 Cor. 2:16) Did you catch that last line? By the Spirit, our minds can be so transformed that we can think God’s thoughts after Him…having the mind of Christ. As you go about your business today, listen for the Lord, ask Him to give you His thoughts about each decision and relationship…..take every thought captive in obedience to Christ.
As parents, our responsibility is two fold in this area. Our own lives need to reflect the thinking of Christ….how we discipline, when we should extend grace, our family priorities, how we spend time with our children, etc. We also need to look for ways to help our children think rightly. They are the perfect age to learn to take every thought captive. One great method for training their thinking is role playing. “What would you do in this situation and why?” Your friend is not sharing with your sibling, how would you handle that? Someone is being bullied, what should we do? You find out that a friend is making poor decisions, what do you do? They just got their first paycheck or allowance, how should that money be used/given/saved/spent?
Putting our children in mock situations and helping them to think through the right responses is one way among many that we can help to train their minds to think the thoughts of Christ.
Todd R. Marrah, Ph.D