Engage your mind without losing your heart

a simple scale icon sits between a heart icon on the left and a brain icon on the right. symbolizing the balance of heart and mind.

Last week, I wrote about your mind system—the part of your spiritual anatomy that engages your intellect. This week we’ll talk about how to engage your mind system without forgoing your heat.

You and I are called—along with all Christ followers—to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). This verse is critical to understanding what true mind system nourishment and integration looks like.

The key here is the word “transformation,” which is only used in once throughout the gospel narratives: the moment when Jesus was transfigured and revealed to be the son of God while in the presence of Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1–12).

What happened in that moment?

The way I see it, there are two options: either Jesus became something outside of himself or something inside of himself surfaced. Either he changed from a “this” to a “that” or his true nature was revealed.

Which is it? You know the answer.

How mind work helps us revel out true self.

That points us to the goal of true mind system work. When developing your mind, you are not trying to acquire something external or become something else. Rather, you are helping to surface what God has already placed in you (Romans 2:15).

When you engage in reading and studying, you will intuitively know by the guidance of the Holy Spirit what is true and what is not true (Galatians 5:24–26). And when you desire to gain more knowledge and understanding, you will pursue more life and freedom, both for yourself and for those you seek to reach and serve (Matthew 11:28–30; Psalm 119).

As you focus on mind work—growing and integrating your mind with your other spiritual systems—choose a verse or passage to meditate on. Consider the ways that passage resonates, creates questions, or stimulates thought.

It is in these places of thought that God can move in your mind, leading you to answers, insights, or perhaps even better questions.

We must be careful to practice exegesis and not eisegesis.

Eisegesis is when we read Scripture through the lens of our personal biases and desires. We make it to mean what we want it to mean and what we already think we know. This is how most bad theology begins.

Exegesis, on the other hand, is when we approach Scripture objectively and allow its true meaning to emerge. We should do this regardless of how confusing or difficult it may be. You can often tell when you’re practicing exegesis by the surprise and learning that occurs as you read. “I never noticed that!” you might say. Or, “Oh, that’s an uncomfortable thought!”

It is also pivotal to engage in Biblical study alongside other trusted comrades. The perspectives and questions of others can inspire and stimulate you to remain grounded in sound doctrinal teaching and good theology. By studying in community, you will sharpen one another and discover opportunities to engage all of your spiritual systems as you grow your mind.

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