Loving God with your mind

In Job 19:25 Job, in the midst of his struggle makes a profound statement when he says “But I know my living Redeemer, and He will stand on the dust at last” (HCSB). I think this is important to remember when discussing why we should value the life of the mind. It was by Job’s knowing or understanding with his mind that he was able to place his confidence in God. His knowledge led him to have a faith that went beyond what he saw in the situation and gave him clarity. Feelings and emotions can play tricks on us. They can deceive us and make us focus solely on the situation at hand but knowing helps navigate us to truth. This is why Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Faith can be blind but only in the context of it being sure and based on something. I do not blindly follow Christianity because someone told me too. I belong to the faith because I have tested it, examined it, and proved it with my heart, my experiences, and my mind. Jesus said we are to love God with our minds as well as our hearts and souls. From a biblical perspective, we are to worship God with our minds (Romans 12:1-2) and we are to love Him with our minds (Luke 10:27).  

Resistance in the church to value the mind is somewhat of a mystery to me. I want to give the benefit of the doubt though and suggest it is possibly a mix of tradition and an overwhelmed feeling. Many Christians have been taught to seek after God in prayer, to worship Him in song, and to not get caught up in the details. This has led many a believer to forget to engage the mind. As the old saying goes out of sight out of mind. If you are not thinking about increasing knowledge than you do not do it. It must become a habit. Others like myself struggle with verse memorization so we get discouraged and stop trying. When instead we must keep at it and work on our strengths. Sometimes I feel like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof saying “as the good book says” only I know the good book actually says what I am saying. I am able to explain what the Bible says but I get confused on exactly where it is. I know I struggle here so I exercise my mind to work on it. People also become overwhelmed because of the sheer volume of information in the Bible

The mind is vitally important to spiritual growth and as J.P. Moreland says in his book Love God with all your mind “we can change our beliefs indirectly” (88). If I struggle with believing that God is good I cannot make myself believe that but I can read and study God’s claims for His being good and let the evidence change my mind and in turn that changes my perspective of everything else.

 

Just a thought,

Mike

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