Some observations on thinking in the New Testament. Here are some of the ways the Bible expresses what thinking involves. Some of the associations and links surprised me – and certainly warn against viewing ‘thought’ as pure rationality in operation.
- You love with your mind, as well as with heart and soul (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30 also adds strength)
- You think with your heart (Luke 1:51)
- Arrogance is a manner of thought (Luke 1:51)
- Body and mind together have desires, which are not under control but drive us – the ‘passions of the flesh’ (Ephesians 2:3)
- A dark mind is a relationship problem. More than not knowing it is not knowing God (Ephesians 4:18)
- Christian unity is a thought, being ‘of the same mind’ (Philippians 2:2)
- Humility is a matter of the mind, having ‘the mind of Christ’ (Philippians 2:5)
- A mind can be actively hostile, a long way from cool rational detachment (Colossians 1:21)
- The mind – like the heart – is a place for God’s law to live, by God’s generous gift (Hebrews 8:10)
- The mind is the place to prepare for action (1 Peter 1:13)
- A prod towards remembering motivates endurance despite scoffing (2 Peter 3:1ff)
- Understanding is a gift (1 John 5:20)
There is plenty more to add to this. Yet these verses alone are enough to expand our thinking about thinking.
To me, there are two major reflections on this. One, our thoughts are intimately connected to the whole of what we are (our desires, loves, beliefs, actions, etc). Two, our thoughts are never neutral or impartial. We always think from a perspective and from relationships. Those relationships may be loving, or they may be broken – supremely our thinking flows from our relation to God.
Our minds will not save us. Only the gospel can save our minds.