If we had hinges on our heads
There wouldn’t be no sin.
‘Cause we could take the bad stuff out
And leave the good stuff in.
– Shel Silverstein
Sometimes I wish righteous living was as easy as Shel Silverstein’s idea in this poem. But it’s not. In fact, most of my personal sins are performed completely in my mind.
According to Proverbs 4:23, our thoughts run our lives. Therefore, we will live sinful lives when our minds are set on sinful passions. Jesus explains in Matthew 7:21-22, “All these evil things begin inside people, in the mind: evil thoughts…stealing…greed…lying…jealousy, speaking evil of others, pride, and foolish living.” We know that the Lord despises these sins (in fact, he also despises evil thoughts according to Proverbs 15:26), so how can we hone a pure, God-honoring mentality?
I believe that it all begins with allowing God to be the Master of your mind. In Romans 8:6, Paul writes, “If people’s thinking is controlled by their sinful self, there is death. But if their thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace.” In the surrounding verses, he explains that people who live sinful lives think only about what they sinfully desire. However, those who live righteously focus on spiritual goals. You must be intentional to allow the Spirit to control your mind. Proverbs 17:24 says, “…the mind of a fool wanders everywhere.” Therefore, we must “keep our minds on what is right” (Proverbs 23:19, see also Philippians 4:8).
Even when we strive to intentionally focus on God, we will slip at times to our old way of thinking. When this happens, we must “capture every thought and make it give up to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Controlling my thought life will never be as easy as opening some hinges and taking out the sinful thoughts. However, I can control my thoughts and let the Lord direct them.
I hope my words and thoughts please you, Lord. You are my Rock, the One who saves me.” – Psalm 19:14