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Renewing the Spirit of the Mind

By Watchman | June 15, 2011

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”  (Romans 12:2)

“…and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.  Therefore, putting away lying, ‘let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor’ for we are members of one another.  ‘Be angry and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.  Let him who stole steal no longer…but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, …do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”  (Ephesians 4:23-32)

     As much as I love TV, my brain has a filter that automatically tunes out most commercials.  However, as I was watching a favorite program a few days ago, I was revolted by an ad I found so irritating I couldn’t tune it out–an actress singing praises to Jenny Craig and fatuously thanking this weight-loss program for allowing her the chance to be pretty again.  It got my mind working about what kind of messages we take in about ourselves and what we consider to be important things we need to change about ourselves, and for the last few days I’ve listened to commercials with a bit more attention.  I finally lost count of the ads for different make-up companies promising to make us more desirable people, I watched ads for stuff that can be injected into our faces to make us more appealing and foods that will cause us to return to our optimum weights. I’ve noticed that even several of the popular Christian television programs carry regular segments on dieting and skin care in deference to the prevailing desire for the glorification of the body.  I suppose I have no real objection to all of this; after all, there is no particular spiritual merit in going about looking plainer or older than we need to, but I do think it’s a shame that we put so much emphasis on transforming our outward appearances and so little on transforming and renewing the spirits of our minds.     

      The passage from Ephesians quoted above continues:  “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  Walk in love, as Christ also has love us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma.  But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”  Do we make the decision to follow the words of our Lord with the same unalterable resolution that we decide to lose weight or change our physical images in some other fashion?  Are we teaching our young people today that loving hearts and gentleness of temper are as important to beauty as flawless skin and a whiter smile?  Are we teaching our young men that a woman of virtue has a price beyond rubies (Proverbs 31), and our young women that she should be wearing “strength and honor [as] her clothing” and in her tongue should be the law of kindness?  Are we teaching our young men to seek after the beautiful heart in a woman and our young women to seek after the covenant man of Psalm 15?  Unfortunately, probably only rarely.  While God looks on the heart, we tend towards looking only at the outer part of our fellow man.  Scripture tells us many times what constitutes true beauty–and it has little to do with cosmetics or a great head of hair:  it has to do with the transformation of the spirit into the likeness of the image of God.  It has to do with renewing our spirits to reflect His holiness, His righteousness, His wisdom and His love.  It has to do with showing a smiling face and dispensing comforting words to those who are tired and disheartened, with answering anger with soft words, and with sharing  the gospel of the saving grace of Christ with the unbeliever.  True beauty (in either sex) means a gentle and truthful tongue, a thankful heart and a giving nature.  

     No, there’s nothing wrong with making oneself look as nice as possible for the outside world to see–but let that inner beauty which is the true gift of a loving God shine forth for all to see.

Maranatha!

Topics: Kingdom Living | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Renewing the Spirit of the Mind”

  1. Susan Says:
    June 16th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    A much needed word for today, and everyday. The house/our bodies are merely “shells’-or you can think of them as “earth-suits”..you know, for instance before an Astronaut can go into space he -or she-has to don a Spacesuit.

    Without these we would not be able to exist in either sphere. It came to me last year that the reason God chose to put on humanity, I believe, was so that He could walk amongst the beings that He created without His holiness burning them up. I know there was only one way to achieve the wonderful gift of Christ.. His righteousness for our UN-righteousness.

    I was just thinking of God’s holiness while I was writing and this scripture came to mind about Moses:

    {Exodus 33}
    “If Your presence does not go,” Moses responded to Him, “don’t make us go up from here. How will it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight unless You go with us? I and Your people will be distinguished [by this] from all the other people on the face of the earth.”

    The LORD answered Moses, “I will do this very thing you have asked, for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.”

    Then Moses said, “Please, let me see Your glory.”

    He said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He answered, “You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live.” The LORD said, “Here is a place near Me. You are to stand on the rock, and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen.”

    So this scripture came to my mind…Can you just imagine how it will be when there is no more sun or moon or starz..He will be the Light Of It”!

    Once again dear friend…EXCELLENT job! 🙂

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