Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

On My Mind #3 – Is Balance Appropriate for the Christian?

This is something that’s stuck in my mind.  So I’ll run my attempt to get it out of my mind by anyone who cares to join in the challenge. Last Friday night at our Bible study, we studied verse 2 of Romans 12, which encourages believers to be transformed by the renewing of the mind.

Where the discussion turned to balance is in the details of renewing our minds.  If we are trying to live up to someone else’s rules, that’s not renewing our mind, it’s simply conforming to external standards.  And so in this sense balance should be heard as examining the heart and going after the things in our mind where conviction pulls.

Another way that balance was involved, and the most intriguing way, involved the role of balance in what we put into our minds. See the goal of the faith is to truly become like Jesus.  And the challenge becomes:  at what point is it really okay to intentionally put clearly non-Christian information/entertainment into our minds?  Specifically, am I going to stop watching my show, listening to my music, and filling my mind with things that have no spiritual value whatsoever?

My attempt to answer this question will come with three main angles of thinking.

1.  In, not of, the world. – John 15:19 (you are not of the world)

I think Christians are obligated to have some grasp of the world they live in.  I’d encourage any Christian to look at a news article, listen occasionally to some of the latest music, or read some summaries of the most popular movies.  There’s no inherent sin in doing any of these things.  Truth about culture can be found through secular artists.  But, when our hearts long for these things because we find some sort of growing satisfaction in them, we sin because we desire to find our satisfaction in this world.

2. Is your mind really renewed?

Listen, if you’re looking for someone to tell you what to do all the time, then your idol is your desire to find your approval in other people rather than in Christ. I’m not the guy to tell you what to do. If your mind is really renewed, you will be intentional to put things into it that feed your faith in Jesus. For example: do you know more movie quotes than Scripture?  Another example: are you more interested in conversations about earthly pastimes or eternal passions?  Shallow Christianity breeds followers who show no discernment whatsoever to change the way they think, live, act, spend, or talk.  The command to change out our sinful way of thinking and exchange it for God’s way of thinking sets a high standard.

I like to think of this in the way of percentages.  I’m analytical, so I think this way.  Time, entertainment, conversations, money, use of social media – is a vast proportion going to promote kingdom values?  Bottom line – if we are thinking like we’re changed by Jesus, we’ll have no trouble keeping the world’s values at bay and in the proper perspective.  The edge of our faith will remain sharp.

3.  Where’s your love?

Married folks will talk about falling in love – when they were so in love that their future spouse consumed their thoughts.  They wanted to please them in every way.  It’s possible to love Jesus that much – that our minds are always on how we can please Him. That’s the renewed mind – one able to balance a knowledge of what’s going on in the world, personal hobbies and passions, and let them swim as small fish in a deep pool of love for a Savior who mercifully (Romans 12:1) saved us from our sins and keeps our souls restlessly serving until His return.

In sum, if you’ve committed to following Jesus, found forgiveness and eternity in Him alone, then ask Him to be at work in your mind, look to Him in all ways, in all decisions, and enjoy your life as you serve His kingdom.

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