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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.
Therefore, once you have your minds ready for action and you are thinking clearly, place your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Don’t be conformed to your former desires, those that shaped you when you were ignorant. But, as obedient children, you must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy. It is written, You will be holy, because I am holy.
1 Peter 1:13-16
It takes focus of mind to leave our former desires behind and live as holy people. “Roll up your sleeves [and] put your mind in gear,” is how The Message translates verse 13. It takes intentional effort. We also hear echoes of Paul in Romans 12 saying, “Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.”
How are our minds transformed and renewed in God’s service? By giving our attention and dedicating our minds to what is holy. Holiness is not about being better than someone else or becoming someone who can only read the Bible. All truth is God’s truth, John Calvin said. We don’t have to close our minds in order to dedicate them to what is holy. We can open our minds to think clearly about all the ways that God’s holiness and beauty are present in the world.
Where do you see God around you? Sometimes we forget to notice. It takes practice and focus to renew our minds.
Holy God, renew and transform my mind that I may see your grace and beauty all around me. Amen.
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.