Friday, May 13, 2011
Thirty Days of Work in the Home
We are instructed to love the Lord with all our hearts, our minds, our soul, and our strength. Part of that means that we need to be attentive to how our minds work. If we aren't careful, we can let our minds drift along, sometimes drifting into places where our thoughts are blighted. A careful cultivation of our minds, however, will help us perform the work entrusted to us.
One key element of keeping the mind strong for our labours is to be gratefully acknowledge God. We need to set our hearts and our minds on Him. Romans 1:21 says, "For even though they knew god, they did not honour Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1), we lose wisdom when we let our hearts drift away from God. We become more easily confused and also more susceptible to believing things that aren't true. We may get caught up in fancies that distract us from our purpose in life, as well as from our daily work.
Another key to developing our minds is train our minds to reach conviction, rather than to keep endlessly wavering between options. In 2 Timothy 3, we read about people who hold to a form of godliness but deny its power by their sins. Such people entice women who are weak-willed and are weighed down by sins, led on by various impulses, and who are always learning, but are never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
How do we avoid being easy pray for false teachers? At least partly, we need to repent of sins in our own lives and learn how to bring our impulses under God's gracious gift of self-control. We also need to make sure that when we learn godly truths, we put them into practice. It is a fine thing to be always learning, but not if we never reach the point where we take hold of the truths we learn about.
This passage is referring to choosing between true doctrines of the scripture and false teaching. However, a milder form of this can be found in general indecisiveness. Sometimes, we will over-analyse matters to the point that we can't make up our mind one way or another. This is a bugaboo of mine. I find that I can use the Internet to feed my habit of researching something, hoping that I will find just the right bit of information to help me make a choice. Yet, the truth is that there are many matters of opinion in life. In those things, we pray, we ask advice, and we step out in faith, rather than continuing to paralyse ourselves with indecision. We can and should train ourselves to make good, solid decisions and to act on them. This will enable us to do our work effectively and efficiently.
On the other hand, we guard our mental development by avoiding rash and hasty conclusions. Acting on rash impulses can cause us to make mistakes in our work, to spend money foolishly, to waste time, to speak too hastily, and, most of all, to misjudge others. In that last regard, Proverbs tells us that the first to present his case seems right until another comes forward and questions him.
We need to think the best thoughts in order to do the best work.