Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why We Need to Think

I've been working my way through messages from this year's Desiring God Conference, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. One of the sanctified uses of an Mp3 player is filling your mind with edifying and wise thoughts while in the car, or when you're exercising, or when you're walking from point A to point B - time when you would otherwise just be daydreaming or obsessing about all the things you need to do. I've learned that my attitude in life is far more healthy if I redeem some time in this way each week. The craziness of the average day is not likely to produce much encouragement in my heart, so I need to deliberately feed myself with something encouraging that lifts my spirit or helps teach me more about how to fight the daily battle effectively.

To that end, part of what I love about this year's DG Conference is that it is not aimed directly at intellectuals or students. It is intended, like John Piper's book of the same name, to encourage all Christians to think and to use our minds to the glory of God. We aren't all called to be scholars, but every one of us does need to make use of our minds in living the life of faith.

As I was listening to Al Mohler's message, he made this point: "We as Christians must recognize that there is a crucial distinction between the regenerate mind and the unregenerate mind. ... [T]here once was a way we thought that we can no longer think." (See Romans 1:21)

In other words, we as Christians have learned something earthshaking that changes everything about life. We can't afford to act as if things haven't changed. We are aware now of a whole new dimension to life - the spiritual dimension - that changes why we live, how we treat people, and where we find strength and hope. If we don't consciously change the way we think so that we plan and decide and act based on this new understanding, then for all our spiritual rebirth we will be ineffective and frustrated. We will fail to embrace the tools God has given us to flourish in our Christian life, and we will continue to pursue a mindset that invites temptation and leaves us vulnerable to the life-destroying effects of sin. Christians must consciously think like Christians in order to thrive. I highly recommend Mohler's message and Piper's book as good ways to encourage that in ourselves.

"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

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