MIND CONTROL (Article) by Dr. Abidan Paul Shah
(Published in the newspaper Daily Dispatch, Henderson on August 11, 2021)
“For as a person thinks…so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
God has given each one of us a mind. It can be a great asset if used properly, but a terrible liability if allowed to go out of control. To allow our mind to roam free is akin to letting a toddler wander through a busy city street. We must guide and guard our mind at all times. Failure to do so can result in fear, doubts, worry, stress, distraction, and apathy.
What is the mind? The Bible use various words (spirit, soul, heart, liver, lungs) to describe the mind, but the basic implication is the immaterial part of every human being. All of us are a combination of both the immaterial and material, mind and body. Typically, we focus only on the material, when in fact, there is an inextricable link between the mind and the body. How we treat our mind affects our body and how we treat our body affects our mind.
There are six things that make up our mind. First, it is created by God to respond to him but damaged by sin until salvation. Second, it is uniquely designed by the combination of our genetic ancestors, good and bad. Third, it is softened towards God or hardened against him by our upbringing. Fourth, it is redeemed by our acceptance of Christ or condemned by our rejection of him. Fifth, it is renewed by our growth in Christ, his Word and Spirit, and godly fellowship. Sixth, it is transformed or tarnished by how we handle the circumstances of life.
So, what should we do when our mind begins to go wayward? We need to recognize, refocus, and resolve. Recognize that we are no longer enemies of God in our “mind by wicked works” (Colossians 1:21). Instead, “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16b). In other words, the Holy Spirit is constantly working towards making our minds more and more like the mind of Christ. Nonetheless, we need to be aware that our mind is constantly under attack by the enemy. Refocus our “mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). As we submit to the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s Word, our focus will be on the mind of Christ. Let “this mind (to) be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Finally, we need to resolve to “gird up the loins of your mind, be sober” (1 Peter 1:13) and not “be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). It is also imperative that we are discerning and selective regarding who or what we allow to have access to our mind. Paul the apostle reminds us that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Every thought we have has to be apprehended and made to bow before Jesus Christ. If it refuses, then we have to deal with it swiftly, decisively, and harshly. Furthermore, we need to train our mind to focus on “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8). Our ultimate goal is to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind (Luke 10:27). In the process, God’s promises us that he will “keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You (God), because he trusts in You (God)” (Isaiah 26:3).