Nurture or Neuter
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
God has given each one of us an amazing gift: our brain. If God wanted little puppets, the Divine One would have made our brains smaller and less agile. God wants us to use this amazing gift. But like any gift, it comes with a responsibility. We are to treat our minds with respect, nurturing them so they can grow in wisdom and understanding. If we do, our minds will provide a meaningful life. If we squander or abuse our brains, the quality of our lives will suffer.
Anyone who reads my devotions regularly, knows I respect the writer Thomas Oppong. His article, “The Quality of Your Mind is The Quality of Your Life,” affirms, “It’s our own thoughts and habits that determine how we look at the world and, ultimately, what we see.” If we waste our time on drivel, or on ignorant conspiracy theories, like Qanon. Our brains weaken and our divine wisdom is lost.
Oppong has a recommendation to help us nurture and not neuter our brain’s capacity to guide us faithfully. He points out, “The quality of your life is-the quality of the books you read-the quality of the people you surround yourself with-the quality of the relationships you build-and the quality of your understanding about the nature of reality.” I have no idea if Thomas Oppong is a person of faith. I have not seen where he has shared his faith identity. But he has a spiritual way of approaching the world and I can translate his words to help my own faith journey. The books we read instruct our worldview. Other people also influence that worldview. His words should not be interpreted as a reason to avoid people in need, but to recognize there are people we can assist; and then, people who influence us. It is vital we have people in our lives who nurture us. That is a vital role in the formation of the church.
Today, ponder how you are using your brain. Are you being influenced well by the books you read, the television and movies you watch, and the people you associate with in your daily lives? Is your time spent on the computer trying to find a reason to feel special, or nurturing the faith with humility? Treat your brain as a gift, and nurture it with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. When you do, life’s meaning will become transformative.