There is a profound truth about how people think, and it is summed up in the proverb which states, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
What motivates our thinking? Are the thoughts which occupy our mind good or evil? The Apostle Paul taught about the kind of thoughts we should have:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
This is really, really hard to do! With the constant barrage of shocking atrocities and horrible actions flooding before us, it takes great vigilance to not get caught up in the hatred which so characterizes our generation. It is an individual responsibility to think differently, and we can do so when we look to the example of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:21). This is the great challenge set before us:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
We must resist thoughts which lead to sin (James 1:14-15). This was what Jesus did, and He is willing and able, as our Savior, to help us (Hebrews 4:15). If we are to be Christians, then we must learn to think as Jesus Christ thinks (Philippians 2:5). And if we are truly Christians, that is, if we have the Holy Spirit of God within us, then we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:16).
To get to the bottom line, our thoughts must be about love (1 Corinthians 16:14)—love for God and love for our neighbor!