What goals have you set for your spiritual formation this summer? Do you want to trust God’s faithfulness more fully? Have you accumulated a pile of deeply challenging books to read? Maybe you’ve decided that you’re sick and tired of feeling as if your prayer life needs work and are determined to focus on your communication with God? You might be surprised to learn that many of our spiritual goals come back to a pressing need to think well.
With the world accessible to us in our pockets, we are the most well-informed generation in history, but we are also the most distracted. The ability to persevere in a coherent thought may feel beyond your control, but be encouraged! First-century believers apparently needed encouragement to work hard at thinking well, too:
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.”1 Peter 4:7
With the world accessible to us in our pockets, we are the most well-informed generation in history, but we are also the most distracted. You might be surprised to learn that many of our spiritual goals come back to a pressing need to think well.Tweet
Persevere in Thinking Well
The Apostle Peter wastes no words in this brief verse, giving his readers two weighty reasons for managing our thought lives in God-glorifying ways.
- Think well because the time is short!
Even in Peter’s day, objections to his sense of urgency abounded. These days leading up to “the end of all things” have been anticipated for 2,000 years, and while we don’t know the exact moment of Christ’s return, we do know, in our more lucid moments, that we have a finite number of sunrises left to us, no matter what our age.
With the end of all things at hand, Peter warns Christians not to waste their thoughts or their energy on trifles. Don’t mess up your thinking with substances or fall into the trap of mind-numbing practices. Beware of entertaining yourself into a stupor or falling prey to the negative habit of comparison or derogatory self-talk.
- Think well “for the sake of your prayers.”
Do you pray as if God is your greatest hope?
Does the content of your prayers reveal that your hope is in lesser objects?
Peter links sober mindedness (that’s clear thinking!) with a hope that is set FULLY on Christ as our greatest treasure. A mind that is hoping fully in Christ will be fully engaged in a life of prayer.
Don’t give up praying just because you get distracted. Follow the rabbit trail right to the throne of grace, and pray about everything that comes to your mind. Nothing is off limits with a God who has already accomplished the decisive work that leads to your salvation and opens the lines of communication between you and heaven.
Will you accept the challenge to employ the full use of your mind for the purpose of hope and for the sake of your prayers?
What will this look like in your daily walk?
Do you need to set aside time with God as if you are making an appointment with him?
Would scripture meditation help to “set your mind on things above?”
What’s working well for you, and what areas do you wish you could work on?
I’d love to have a conversation with you about all the ways you are (or want to be!) thinking well on your way to heaven!
Holding you in the light,
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