Back in the days when I was focused on personal development, I read the one of the best-selling business books of all time, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Mr. Hill’s philosophy went beyond helping one become financially wealthy to helping them succeed in any line of work and to be and do almost anything they wanted. At the time, I remember thinking, “Not a bad read!” But after God saved me, I found a much better read, one that empowers the reader to go beyond riches . . . to righteousness.
As image bearers of the Almighty, we have the mental capacity to think about whatever we set our minds to consider. And in so doing, we set a course that will either lead us in the direction God wants us to go or the direction we would rather go.
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6)
The apostle Paul made a remarkable statement here: What we set our minds on determines, to an altogether unsuspecting extent, the issue of life and death! When was the last time you thought about that? Over and over again, the Bible tells us to take control of our thoughts and explains that we have been given the power to take control of our thoughts because we have been given the mind of Christ.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 2:16)
Here Paul was quoting an Old Testament passage, Isaiah 40:13, to tell us that we have the capacity to think the thoughts of God when it comes to His plan and purpose in this world.
Make no mistake, the mind of man is the exact opposite of the mind of Christ. Man’s mind is man-centered, always thinking how to expand the cause of man’s little kingdom. Man’s mind is rooted in self-protection and self-satisfaction.
But every Christian believer has received the Holy Spirit of God and thus has the ability to rise above the thoughts of mere mortals and to think as the Master thinks—thoughts rooted in self-sacrifice and self-denial. This is the thought process of those who “Think and Grow Righteous.”
So . . . what have you been thinking about lately? Where do your thoughts go when you do not choose to set them on what the Spirit of God desires? Let’s close with one more exhortation from the inspired pen of Paul that will help us rise above the challenges of daily living as we think and grow righteous.
Brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!