Mind Your Mind – Your Life Depends on What’s Happening Up There
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~ Romans 12:2 (ESV)
Recently, something Albert Einstein said came back into mind. I was thinking how is it that some people tried their best to be considerate while some could not even be bothered, why some people made great effort to live righteous lives while some people preyed on the helpless. And God brought to mind something Albert Einstein asked:
“Is the universe a friendly place?”
And I believe this question is profoundly able to answer the question why we live our lives the way we do. And it’s true. How we feel about the world and the universe will determine our thoughts and actions. It all began as an “insider job”. It affects the way we feel, the way we treat others, the way we parent our children, the way we handle our work and relationships, the way we give to (or take from) humanity etc.
Einstein confirms this:
“For if we decide that the universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.
If we decide that the universe is neither friendly nor unfriendly and that God is essentially ‘playing dice with the universe’, then we are simply victims to the random toss of the dice and our lives have no real purpose or meaning…”
And it’s not oversimplifying things. Even in social work, psychology and counselling, there are theories which confirm how our inner processing affects and directs our actions, which will, in turn, build our inner conviction of things. Thinking about it, you can indeed find the roots of our joy, unhappiness, sins, good deeds, actions from what first happens inside you in your mind.
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” ~ Luke 6:45 (ESV)
And it should not come as a surprise because God made humans not as mere beings which merely respond to their impulses. He gives man will, feelings and mental ability to think and decide.
And everything that happens inside can have an impact on our lives; both here on this side of eternity and for eternity. Viktor Frankl in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” showed the way a WWII concentration camp prisoner imagined the future affected his longevity.
It is no wonder why God places emphasis and reminds us to renew our minds. The devil has always been using the same tactic of targeting our minds. From the time of Adam and Eve, he played with their minds to make them feel that the universe and God are “unfriendly” and withheld from them good. The devil again used the same tactic when he tested Jesus in the wilderness.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” ~ John 10:10a (ESV)
Satan will stop at nothing to wreck our relationships with God and man, starting with our minds. If he succeeds in making us feel that the universe and God are unfriendly, we will behave that way. We will put ourselves over God and others and behave that way. We think the worse of every relationship and they become marred by distrust and all. Once we are defeated in our minds, we live defeated and frustrating lives; void of joy.
The fact is God is for us and that the world is not such an unfriendly place if we all make it so; breaking down unfriendliness and restoring hope.
“… If God is for us, who can be against us?” ~ Romans 8:31b (ESV)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16 (ESV)
But I know, some might say, “but James, I tried being friendly but you should see what XXX did to me!”
The Bible is not silent about how we may face injustice but the conclusion is still to manage our inner man so it will not be bitter.
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” ~ Ephesians 4:26-27 (ESV)
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” ~ 2 Chronicles 16:9a (ESV)
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” ~ Romans 12:19-21 (ESV)
Yes, you may have had bad experience(s) and injustice done to you but will you let this hold you and embitter you and your life? It is again the devil’s tactic of stealing, killing and destroying your trust in God and of people. Will you let God redeem it?
- Do I believe that the universe and God are friendly?
- Does the devil have any foothold in my life that emitters my life; costing me my life both on this side of eternity and for eternity?
- Do I believe God will redeem the injustice done to me and that He has my welfare at heart?