We are losing the importance of education. Not degrees or schooling, but of actual learning. A week does not go by where I read “but seminary didn’t…” or “it doesn’t matter how much you know…” or “I just tell me what to do…” We do not all need to be professors, but we all need to engage our minds. Our brain is part of our body, and it is an essential organ.
Gaining wisdom to discern life’s challenges pushes us to learn. The book of Proverbs says to be wise is to be Godly. Ephesians 5:16ff says to be godly is to be wise. At the end of Hebrews 5 the writer exhorts his audience that they should at this point be teachers, but they’re not. Romans 12:1-2 talks about how the transformation of our mind enables us to discern God’s will. Developing our brain is not a side note in Scripture.
In Eastern meditation, the purpose is to empty your mind. In biblical meditation, the purpose is to fill your mind with God’s Word. Meditation in the Bible is what we would call memorization. The first chapter of Joshua, God commands Joshua to meditate on God’s Word in order to be careful to do all that is written in it. In Deuteronomy 17, the king is supposed to write his own copy of the law for study and to be careful to do all that is written in it.
Paul instructs Timothy to both be mindful of Timothy’s own doctrine, and to share what Paul said. In a real sense, content is king. At the end of Paul’s instructions to Timothy was the beginning of the New Testament. In Paul’s instruction about doctrine, about Scripture, is the idea that “the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” While daily living is an essential, we operate based on what we believe. A Christian living life without developed doctrine is like a soldier going into combat without a weapon.
Helmet and shield
When Paul describes the armor of God to instruct that we are in a spiritual struggle, there are four pieces of that armor that relate to our mind: The helmet of salvation, the belt of truth, the shield of the faith, and the sword. This picture deals with the tension we see in Scripture of what God does, as well as our responsibility. The pieces of armor are references to Christ. In putting on our armor, we are to put on Christ. At the same time, it relates to a choice, action, and focus we need have. We choose to arm ourselves. We choose to stand firm. When we do not develop the life of the mind, we are choosing not to put on the armor of God.
The bottom line:
The brain is a vital organ. We need to keep that organ healthy. Developing the life of the mind is not an option for a Christian. It is critical to discerning God’s will and what is evil. Developing the mind requires us to take in and know God’s Word to have success. Developing the mind is what we see modeled and exhorted in the early church. Finally, growing our brain is critical to put on the whole armor of God.