The Renewal of our Minds
God intends to renew our entire being. Part of the process of this renewal has to do with a change God wants to make in the way we think. The mind is a gateway to the soul. Generally speaking, we do not pay much attention to where our thoughts come from and why we think the way we do. In order for us to experience transformation, we need to pay careful attention to our thought-life. St. Paul says in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
So that you may discern what is the will of God
Discerning and doing the will of God is the goal of the Christian life. Human beings were made in the image of God. As God’s will is free, so is ours. We are free to choose what we believe and how we will live. Because of our separation from God, the choices that we make often bring damage to ourselves and the people we love. God desires us to know and do his will. When we begin to pursue God’s will, our lives are brought into alignment with God’s purposes and the blessings of God are released into our lives.
Do not be conformed to this world
The problem we face is that we are often passively conformed to the patterns of this world. We are continually bombarded with an endless flow of ideas through television, the internet, the radio and other sources. Many of these sources are attempting to get us to think a particular way, or to adopt a certain ideology. If our guard is not up, sooner or later we will begin to adopt the values of what we are watching. The follower of Jesus Christ is called to live above worldly ways and to become immune to the world’s attempts to control us. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. The key to this immunity is to allow God to reshape the way we think, and to understand the purpose of the mind as guardian of our soul.
Be transformed by the renewing of your minds.
Oftentimes our minds are very passive in relation to what we take in from the world. Curiously, we tend to be very resistant to anything God is attempting to do within us. This is backwards! We should be immediately receptive to God and very resistant to the world. In the original language of the Bible, the verb used for “be transformed” is passive. This means that we are not able to transform ourselves, but must yield ourselves to God so that God can bring about the transformation. God wants to renew our minds so that we are no longer being influenced by the world, but instead are directed solely by God.
The mind is a gateway to the soul. If we are to keep our soul healthy and whole, we will need to keep a careful watch over our thought-life. This does not mean that we close our self off from everything that is in the world, but it does mean that we carefully evaluate our exposure to worldly values. If we remain alert, God will give us the sensitivity as to what is helpful and what is not. We will be able to welcome those things that bring beauty and joy to the soul, and quickly close the door to the things that pollute us. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” The mind is the guard of the soul. We must awaken our mind to its highest purpose.