Pause

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

How do we love God with our mind? This isn’t about intellectual assent to beliefs about God but rather using our mind to love God. Maybe that seems odd. We often say we love with our heart and think with our mind. Yet our minds encounter and process both thoughts and feelings. Our minds give shape to what we say and how we act.

We know how to put our minds to use in service of school or work. May we discover anew how to engage our minds in service of loving God.

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Listen

From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:8

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Think

This past summer there has been much in our country and world that is not holy, just, or lovely. Our news feeds are full of anger and death. Words and actions all around us, and perhaps in our own minds as well, are vengeful and fearful. Our thoughts are far from things that are worthy of praise.

“You are what you eat” was an ad campaign to promote healthy eating. Eating food that is rich in nutrients makes us healthier; eating food that is empty of nutrition contributes to poor health. Similarly, a diet of violence, disasters, and fear can degrade our mental health and make our own worries seem more alarming than they actually are.

There are times we need to turn off the stream of bad news and intentionally set our minds on what is admirable and true. Every day we need space and time to focus our minds and hearts on God’s love and grace.

Ann Deibert

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Pray

In this moment, bring to mind three things or people for whom you are grateful. Take 20 seconds to hold them in your mind.

God of love and light, I thank you for your blessings. In this day, bring to my mind your many acts of grace in my life and in the world around me. Thank you for these gifts. Amen.

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Go

God loves your mind. God loves you.

Invite God to renew and transform your mind to love God and your neighbor.

Then go in peace and share that great love.

Ann Deibert

Ann Deibert lives in Louisville, KY with her spouse, Martha, and two rescue dogs. In addition to being a pastor at Central Presbyterian Church, Ann is a spiritual director, gardener, and gelato maker.

Making Space: Stillness

Carter Harrell

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