Day 4: Tame It! Taming Our Minds
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5, NKJV).
If there is one thing in our lives that is the hardest to tame, it is, without a doubt, our mind(s). Our minds are hard to even understand, so to tame them as God intends is definitely a challenge. But when we have Christ as our example and goal (as we should), we have the answer.
It’s definitely important to acknowledge right away that this topic is extremely broad, complex, and can be viewed from many different angles. Our minds struggle against things like anxiety and depression, sinful thoughts, and countless other issues. Those things are real and are very legitimate challenges, and God cares deeply about each of them. But for the purpose of this post, we’re simply going to look at what the Bible says we should do with our minds. That may only be part of the puzzle, but it is still a part that God cares about very much.
The overarching theme is captured in the verse above: seek to have a mind like the Lord Jesus. Of course, that’s much easier said than done. But when we are believers in Christ and have the Holy Spirit living in us, it is possible!
First of all, the Bible tells us that our minds need to be renewed. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” It’s no question that our minds were once used for sinful things, which the Bible also makes clear: “We all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind” (Ephesians 2:3). But when we are saved by God’s grace, our minds are transformed. And then, because we have Christ, we can look to Him for help to continually renew and tame our minds to be more like His.
What does that look like? Well, first of all, our minds need to be focused on God. Isaiah wrote, speaking to the Lord, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3). A mind that is fixed on God is one to which He gives peace—peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7). It takes effort, but when we strive toward that end, we are met with God’s help and blessing.
The Bible also tells us how to have a mind like Jesus in a couple of other passages …
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).
“To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
“And He [Jesus] said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’” (Matthew 22:37).
“[when you pray] The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. … whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:7-8).
I encourage you to really think about what each of these verses says. This is how God wants us to use our minds. And these passages make it clear that when we do, He meets us with peace, protection, understanding, and with the fullness of life.
So when we are afraid, we need to look to Jesus. When we get angry, we need to look to Jesus. When we think negatively of another person, we need to look to Jesus. And all that means is that we need to look into the Bible and obey what it says. We need to think about heavenly and spiritual things, about what is true, honorable, just, etc., and pray continually to our God. Then our minds will be drawn out of sinfulness and focused on Christ.
This isn’t easy, but there are things we can do to make it more attainable. To start, we can be intentional about having Scripture readily available to us so our minds can be more quickly focused. Set a verse as your phone background, put a verse notecard on your mirror, or hang more verses on the walls in your home. These things may be small, but they do what is most important: they fix our minds on Jesus. He is the reason we can use our minds the way that God intends.