November 2, 2008

You Are What You Eat...and Think

Our parents and teachers taught us very early in life that what we put into our bodies could have a significant effect on our health and appearance. Our bodies would become lean and strong if we ate healthy foods and we would probably live a long, healthy life as a result. Conversely, if we aggressively snack on foods loaded with sugar and fat, we would likely suffer some negative consequences. Over the course of time, if we abuse our bodies with unhealthy foods or are exposed to environmental toxins, our bodies will struggle to properly process even the healthiest food. When this is the case, some choose to take vitamins and supplements alongside a healthy diet in order to flush the body of impurities, enabling all of the body systems to function better. It is true that you are what you eat, but sometimes more needs to be done to reverse the effects of poor nutrition. Our mind is not that different from our body.

As the body is the outward manifestation of our nutrition, how we live is the outward expression of the habits of the mind. The ideas that enter and remain become a part of our belief system—or worldview. This worldview manifests in every area of life including religious practice, political views, parenting, sexuality, and more. No part of our life is immune to the influence of these beliefs, and like the body, if the mind has been exposed to bad ideas, there is a sense in which the mind needs to be cleansed of these beliefs. This is part of what it means to live in a way that glorifies God.

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. …But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:17-24)

Putting off the old self in practice requires putting off the old self of ideas and beliefs. We put on the new self through the renewing in the spirit of our minds, but this is not achieved by placing scripture over top our old ways of thinking and living, but by holding up our existing beliefs, views and opinions against the light of God’s written Word and purging them from our mind as necessary. This is, in essence, a reshaping of our worldview, moving from a worldly perspective to a biblical worldview.

Recognizing that you are what you think should be cause for ongoing self-examination. Take the time to answer the following questions:

1. Does the way I run my business cohere with godly principles of leadership and truthfulness?

2. Is my view of the sanctity of life consistent with what scripture teaches about the pre-born?

3. Do I honor God in my marriage and family with physical and emotional faithfulness?

4. Do I believe the Bible is God's written revelation to man, that it is inspired, inerrant, infallible, sufficient, and authoritative?

5. Is truth absolute or does it depend on my culture or circumstances?

6. Is Jesus the savior for all sinners, or does he only represent Christians?

7. What do I believe about the Trinity?

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