There are 24 hours in the day, and roughly 16 hours of that time is spent being bombarded with all manner of influences. Every waking moment, there are so many things that are vying for our attention, that it is very easy for us succumb to their sway. This is even more compounded with the massive influx from social media. The average person spends hours of their day, thumbing through page after page of content, that in reality offers no significant help or nourishment. Instead, the consequence of this steady diet has only led to a weakening of the mind and a spiritual anemia, which unfortunately is the status quo.
Yesteryear it was the television, now days it is the smartphone or the streaming device that has idiotized a nation.
One might conclude that our condition is hopeless due the copious amount of media available, yet the Bible presents a remedy to give our minds a thorough cleansing from the muckiness that so pervades what is presented to us daily.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” To the chagrin of many so-called progressives and self-proclaimed anti-conformists, it is the Christians who are the original non-conformists and the ones who do it best.
From the earliest days of the church, people looked at these “Jesus freaks” and thought them to be very strange, because they didn’t go with the flow or fit the norm of society. Instead, these “Christians” talked a lot about Jesus, were radical in their devotion to him, and sought to love God and their neighbor no matter what the cost. For many, that non-conformist attitude cost them their life.
The message of the world is conformity. Fit in this box. Look like the world and hold to its values. In stark contrast, the Christian message is not conformity, rather transformation.
And part of this transformation involves the mind.
Our minds are so full, and if we were honest, most of it is junk. As stated before, we are constantly assaulted from the television, the smartphone and the computer. In the age of constantly being “plugged in,” we are in desperate need of some sort of reprieve, and it is found within the Bible.
How to have a renewed mind—a mind that is changed for the better, is to saturate it with truth. As Jesus says “sanctify them in your truth, your [God’s] word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). Daily reading and meditation of God’s word, is not only a filter to discern truth from error, but also acts as a cleansing detergent to remove the filth and ungodly influences of the world.
Before I am labeled a Puritan, ask yourself in the everyday experience, is what you see and hear promoting virtue or godliness?
The answer is no.
Instead we see all manner of immorality condoned and celebrated. Even when it is not overtly sensual or ungodly, it is still mind-numbing entertainment.
God doesn’t want our minds numbed, rather active and sharp. Our mental faculty has been given to us by God for a purpose, and that is to be used to know him more, thereby worshiping him more.
Also, with an engaged mind and one that is renewed by the Scriptures, we are able to “by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). Without this renewed mind, we are unable to see things clearly. Life’s problems and the world becomes one giant convoluted mess. We become ill-equipped to handle temptation, we fall snare to various sins. In essence, we are in a perpetual weakened state, and what makes matters even worse, is that the Christian who has this malady loses their distinction from the world. They have been conformed to it.
The renewed mind is a vital element of a transformed life. A mind informed and washed daily by the Scriptures, is the key to battling the various traps and pitfalls that assail most people. Without it, you are left unprepared and in the danger of looking, acting and thinking like the world.
As opponents of the Christian worldview often say that we are “brainwashed,” I agree wholeheartedly and I am thankful for it. May the Lord continue to cleanse our minds with the truth of the Gospel. Amen.