Luke 10:25-28 & Philippians 4:8-9
The commandment to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind” has always been a curiosity to me in that I wondered how we loved God with our minds. Being in an environment on a university campus where the virtues and powers of the mind are extolled I have noticed that some students see the Christian faith as a kind of academic activity. They take notes in worship and buy study bibles and are very much in the camp that you have to believe/think certain things about the nature of God and Jesus to the “saved.” While I appreciate the desire to learn and greatly believe that spiritual study is a very important discipline for growth, too often have I seen the mind be not a vehicle for loving transformation but for propping up our biases, shielding us from challenge and keeping us stuck in a small (and shrinking) life and faith.
To love God with our mind is to question and to leave the harbor of the same status quo answers. To love God with our mind is to put on the “mind of Christ” and to come at life with a Christ centered orientation. It is to have our minds “renewed” so that we can know God’s will. One of the meanings of the Greek word for repentance, metanoia, is to change your mind (and so your life). Paul exhorts his friends in Philippi to “think on these things- things that are good, excellent, worthy of praise.” Our thinking directs so much of our lives. As we think, so we have the tendency to do. How do we think lovingly?
Metanoia also means to change directions. Are you going a particular way that is hurtful and negative? Well, change your mind and change directions. Do something different that is life affirming and loving! Loving God with our minds and having a change of mind is not an end in itself. It needs to be completed in action- life giving, justice seeking, love impacting action. As they sometimes say in Alcoholics Anonymous, to get life turned around, you have to stop the “stinkin’ thinkin'”.