180º Week 4: God Transforms Our Way of Thinking
Dear brothers and sisters,
In this series we’ve been saying that sometimes in life we are going in the right direction, and we might need a little course direction but in general we’re going the right way. Sometimes, however, things are going the totally wrong direction. Jesus came to do the 180’s in life that we can’t do on our own: facing judgment before God; healing our hearts; and moving forward in the Spirit of God from fear to courage. This week we are talking about a reality that might be a little offensive: that we sometimes think wrongly. God desires to change our merely human ways of thinking. In Romans 12:1-3 we hear, I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned. It's hard to accept that sometimes we think wrongly. Every day, “the world” is trying to conform us to its thinking: convincing us through advertising that we will find happiness by buying the latest products; or influencing our thinking about God and religion in ways that differ from what God has revealed to us through the Bible and Catholic teaching. We’re urged by St. Paul to be humble and to be transformed by a renewal of mind. A challenge this week: how much time do we honestly spend weekly renewing our mind with the good “brain food” of Scripture and spiritual reading? It’s easy to think in mere human ways about God, or about moral or ethical issues, instead of listening to the Church’s wisdom; or to be fed merely by sports, or entertainment, or social media, while neglecting the good “brain food” that builds us up. May we be humble in our thinking, to allow God to transform us to think divine thoughts. Questions for small groups:
What was on your mind this past week? What did you think about the most?
What ads or products usually get your attention or spark your interest? What does this say about how you are most likely to be conformed to this world?
God thinks differently than we do. How can this simple fact help us in renewing our minds and learning to think as he does?
When you come across a Church teaching or something in the Scriptures you don’t agree with, what do you usually do? What would a humble attitude look like when that occurs?
What is one step you could take to “Watch your brain food” so that your mind can be renewed?
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!