“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” Romans 8:5 & 6 (NLT)
I have been thinking about these verses from Romans 8 and what it means to “think about things that please the Spirit.” I am very much interested in having a thought life that “leads to life and peace.” But what does that mean exactly? What kind of things should I be thinking?
I have been mulling this over. Here is what I have come up with so far:
What “pleases the Spirit” is Jesus. The Holy Spirit came to point to and reveal Jesus (John 16:12-15). So, my thoughts should be centered on Jesus.
Perhaps the most significant thing that is revealed in Jesus is the fact that I am loved. This is huge when it comes to my though life. Constantly thinking of the fact that God’s love for me (and you) is so extreme that he sent his son to die for me, cannot help but alter the atmosphere of my thought life.
The environment Jesus establishes when I fix my mind on him is that of love. The content of my thoughts must continually acknowledge that I am deeply loved.
So many thoughts and patterns of harmful, hurtful thinking are immediately dismissed when I allow Jesus and his love to dominate my thinking. The negative self-talk that I so easily fall into is eliminated. The nearly abusive internal “talking to’s” that I regularly give myself no longer have place to tear me down.
Doubt, envy and bitterness fade. In their place, thankfulness rises up. As I allow the overwhelming love of God to impact my mindset, I find myself thinking of all I am thankful for; people I know, God’s incredible provision and care for me, situations I am blessed to be in and ones I am blessed to have avoided….
As I set my mind on Jesus I find “life and peace” where there was once death.