Dr. Linda Stratford – “Instruction for a Christian Mind”
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8
In this passage we are told of the cardinal place occupied by the Christian mind. Paul claims that Christian formation requires certain preoccupations of mind. By giving attention, with our minds, to things of which God approves, we shape our minds to be like His.
On the other hand, when we are sloppy in our thinking or allow damaging thoughts to simmer in our mind, we inhibit the experience of God’s peace and presence.
Earlier in this letter to the Philippians Paul wrote: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:9-11)
By immersing ourselves in scripture, we shape our minds with eternal truths. It is possible to think of times when improper perspective or understanding based on warped truths led to damaging consequences. At other times it is clear that familiarity with scripture shaped understanding, strengthening perspective by means of biblical truths.
- Dr. Linda Stratford, Associate Professor of Art