Last week we started a discussion about my devotional life (how I spend time with God daily) and I began by sharing an ancient Jewish prayer with you called “the Shema” which says to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
I shared how this prayer has changed my life daily and it is worth putting into practice for your own life because it can be a real game changer and isn’t that something most people are looking for this time of year?
Today, we’re going to look at loving God with our minds.
I’ve got to be honest – I LOVE this part of the prayer.
This part of the prayer dispels some myths about Christians namely that to become one you have to check your brain at the door. There are hundreds of theories why we’ve earned this stereotype and I wish it weren’t true.
But it is.
Too many who call themselves Christians either take whatever they hear from someone be it a pastor, friend, someone they trust, or inexplicably, a politician (seriously – WHY?) we take what they say as Gospel truths without ever doing any studying on our own.
As Christians, we shouldn’t just be following blindly. In fact, Paul wrote “examine everything carefully”.
In the book of Proverbs we also read “The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”
Throughout Scriptures I believe it consistently teaches that knowing God with our mind and learning about him and how the world works is essential.
It is so important to me that it became part of the phrase I hope to be labeled as “A non-judgmental, Jesus-loving theologian.”
Here’s why it matters so much:
When we only take what someone else has read, researched and learned and try to make it our own we generally can’t.
It’s just a cute idea, thought, or saying.
We need to take that, examine it, wrestle with it, test it, and see if it holds up.
Then it becomes real. It becomes ours. We understand God better and the way the world works.
Ok, so how exactly do we love God with our minds?
Here’s what I do:
I try to read the Scriptures daily.
I frequently listen to Christian podcasts from those I love and those that I don’t agree with just so I can see all perspectives on the faith.
I also love reading books. This past summer was a big summer for reading dead theologians. Recently (and you’ll see this on my list of best things of ’16 list coming soon) I read an incredible book on faith and science.
Is there a topic you really want to know about? A quick Google search will get you relevant Scriptures, books, videos, blogs and podcasts all dealing with the issue.
Love God with your mind.