This Way Up: Cultivating a Discerning Mind
Along with a teachable mind, we need to cultivate a discerning mind.
For some, this is a joy. For others, it is a challenge. Either way, it is a responsibility.
One way we can do this is by disciplining it, setting it on the things above, not on the things of this earth (Col. 3:2), setting our minds on the things of the Spirit, that we may walk in His ways (Rom. 8:5).
This is vital, for our minds are easily deceived, hardened and blinded by the god of this world (2 Cor. 3:14, 4:4). It is part of our earthly experience in the flesh.
However, a mind like this will quickly lead us into paths of futility (Eph 4:17). Unless redeemed, this kind of thinking will lead us to destruction (Phil. 3:19).
But thanks be to God that He did not leave us this way but instead has provided not only a way to escape this hopeless existence but clear instruction on the new path He has designed for us. By His grace, the Spirit enlightened our minds with the truth, illuminating a new path of life for us.
This light then reveals these lies, that we might repel what was once so natural to our thinking. Not only that, God enables us to receive His Word, stocking our minds with that which is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).
In my own experience, fixing my mind on God’s truth has made all the difference in understanding and interpreting our adoption struggles and challenges.
If I do not fill my mind with truth, it doesn’t mean that it will remain a vacuum. Rather, the ungodly beliefs and “truths” that seem to make so much human sense start to dominate because there is nothing to counteract them.
I have noticed that when I take the time to nurture my mind, I am better able to discern the thoughts that are of God from those that aren’t. Practically speaking, I see a change in the quality of my life, even if the circumstances have not changed.
As I look through my adoption journal, Anah has changed, but life is still hard. It will be for the rest of her (and my) life. The bigger change is not in her but in me. When my mind is slowly transformed, my life then follows suit.
We are to be teachable. But that doesn’t mean we gullibly take in everything we hear. We must also be discerning as we listen, whether it is secular or sacred.
But the stronger our foundation of truth, the more able we are to interact—and learn from—all kinds of sources, creating an ever-deepening treasure trove to draw from as we walk out our lives of faith.