Summary: The Influances upon the Mind You can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr
"As a man thinks within himself, so he is" Prov 23:7. This proverb is simply stating that what you think you are is what you will be.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE MIND
How we think affects our attitudes, our hopes and our fears. Our thinking affects our behaviour and how we relate to family, friends and foes. Our thinking affects our words, will and our ways - in fact our thinking affects every aspect of our lives.
The mind is the commander-in-chief of our existence, determining, directing and deciding life’s conditions.
"There are a number of words in the New Testament for ’mind’, generally speaking the mind is the seat of reflective consciousness, comprising of the faculties of perception, understanding, feeling, judging and determining." W. E. Vine
"I did it without thinking" is an excuse often used when people find themselves in trouble. However, no action takes place in our lives without our mind’s permission. Therefore, if our attitudes and actions are ungodly we need to take control of our minds to become victorious in our Christian living.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MIND
It goes without question then, that the mind plays an important part in the make-up of mankind, for it is with our mind that we decide to accept or reject Jesus.
"Let us never forget that the message of the Bible is addressed primarily to the mind, to understanding" Martyn Lloyd-Jones
As the Lord looks upon our mind, He knows our thoughts, (see Ps 25:2, 94:11, 139:2). Sin is sanctioned in our mind, bitterness finds root and is fed in our mind, pride begins in our thinking, (see Rom 12:3, Heb 12:15).
Jesus often said to people, "What do you think?" (see Matt 17:25, 18:12, 21:28). Maybe it was to gain their attention, but also and more importantly to encourage them to examine their thinking so as to bring it into line with God’s Word. We too as God people must seek to have our minds fixed on the things of God and not thing of this world, (see Matt 16:23 Heb 3:1).
Because of the importance of the mind Satan makes the mind his chief point of attack upon our lives. Satan seeks to ’blind and bind’ our mind to the things of God.
THE INFLUENCE UPON THE MIND
"From the earliest of our conscious moments we begin to decipher and decode the world into which we are born. We become influenced by our environment and learn to respond to its impulses. As infants, concepts of behaviour are presented to us as absolutes and we are expected to accept them obediently and without question. As childhood develops we soon become aware of options and choices and thus learn to discriminate between things that differ." John Glass
Throughout our life there will always be pressure to conform but conformity to certain pressures can lead to conflict in our Christian commitment.
It is a parents duty to "train a child" (see Prov 22:6) Parents play a great part in forming the way we think, their influence can be very positive, or very negative. High expectations from parents that can never be achieved by their children often leave a person feeling that they are a failure. Constant criticism can give them a low self-image. Traumatic experiences in childhood can scar a person for life.
The people we spend the most time with can begin to mould our thinking. We may adopt their attitudes, their values and their theology that may be contrary to scripture. Paul tells us to keep away from bad company, even those in the Church who may corrupt you character (see Rom 15:17-18).
The media is constantly trying to influence our thinking round to their way of thinking, presenting an unrealistic picture of life, pressurising us to be like them in looks, fashion, ethics and even in the food we eat.
Everyone wants a piece of your mind and none more so than Satan, that he might ’blind and bind’ us to the things of God.
Think smiles, and smiles shall be;
Think doubt, and hope will flee;
Think love, and love will grow;
Think hate, and you’ll know.
Think good, and good is here;
Think vice - its jaws appear!
Think joy, and joy ne’er ends;
Think gloom, and dusk descends.
Think faith, and strength’s at hand;
Think ill - it stalks the land.
Think peace, sublime and sweet,
And you that peace will meet;
Think fear, with brooding mind,
And failure’s close behind.
Think this: "I’m going to win."
Think not on what has been,
Think victory; think "I can!"
Then you’re a winning man!