Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
It’s essential to understand how your mind works. Christians should turn to the Bible for answers. This will be all part of fulfilling the destiny to love abundantly. Joyce Meyer (b. 1943), a Christian author and speaker said, “As you pray to the Holy Spirit to make you aware of thoughts that come in your mind that don’t line up with God’s Word, you’ll begin to realize when those thoughts come and you can renew your mind with the Word.” Undoubtedly the mind is a key to Christian living. It’s for us to be able to discern the truth to be guided in the right way (1 Cor 2:14).
To do so we have to understand ourselves. Some players of sports might be best able to capture this reality because their success is based on performance. Ralph Marston (1907–1967), a professional football player wrote, “Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.” With Christians it’s always a job of loving and serving others. They have to be well-equipped to complete these tasks.
Much of this calls for a personal examination of our hearts. Pearl S. Buck (1892–1973), a writer and novelist explained, “Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that is where I renew my springs that never dry up.” Our goals have to grow out of such confidence as we change our ungodly ways of thinking into new and life-affirming ways.
Time of Renewal
The church’s calendar has periods dedicated to renewal. James Keating (b. 1923), a Trappist monk and priest wrote, “Lent is the time to renew wherever we are in that process, that I call the divine therapy. It’s a time to look what our instinctual needs are, look at what the dynamics of our unconscious are.” Loving God and our neighbor is an ongoing process. Our thoughts are often buffeted by the happenings in the world around us, so we must turn to the Word, repent, and pray for forgiveness.
But how can we do these things? Susan L. Taylor (b. 1946), an editor and journalist said, “We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.” Others may see this as something we should do whether we’re in a church or not. As Satya Nadella (b. 1967), an Indian American business executive of Microsoft wrote, “You renew yourself every day. Sometimes you’re successful, sometimes you’re] not, but it’s the average that counts.” This lesson on loving, and renewal, takes time, and work.
Renewal is what is good, acceptable, and the perfect will of God (Rom 12:2). It’s how we praise God, and think about these things (Phil 4:8). By showing affection for the things above (Col 3:2), you shall run and not be weary, and walk, and not faint (Isa 40:31). Then you could say like Louie Schwartzberg (b. 1950), a director, producer, and cinematographer: “I think we need to do some deep soul searching about what’s important in our lives and renew our spiritual thinking, whether it’s through faith-based religion or just through loving nature or helping your fellow man.”