Heart and mind management

1 Peter 1:13 “Therefore prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

I have discovered that in most areas of life a big part of success depends on good management. Gifted people regularly share worthy contributions to society. While the result of their labors may seem effortless to the unperceptive bystander, it is almost always the crucial behind-the-scenes administration that produces the seamless and gratifying result.

There have been times when people have shared with me their awe at how the auction process works. The general public shows up the day of the event. They observe the auctioneer chanting the bid and the clerk typing the buyer information into the computer. They bid, they pay the cashier for their purchases, and then they go home. It could be natural to think of this process as an easy way to liquidate an entire household of merchandise in one day. But that is hardly the case. The smoothness of the process is the culmination of many days of preparation.

The Christian life is no different. Matthew Henry, a seventeenth and eighteenth century minister and author stated, “The main work of a Christian lies in the right management of his heart and mind.” What a true statement! Our enemy, the devil, capitalizes on our mental and emotional frailties. He knows if he can get us to think the wrong thoughts our attitudes and actions will follow suit. He particularly uses this strategy when we are going through difficult circumstances.

This is why Peter tells us we must prepare our minds for action. By managing our thought life we will be equipped for the onslaught of lies Satan will throw at us on a regular basis. Knowing God’s word well, believing God’s promises, and putting the truth into action will cause our lives to bring glory to the Father despite the troubles and trials this life will inevitably bring.

This does not mean we will never have uncomfortable or raw emotions. When an experience is hard we may very well feel angry, afraid, or discouraged. A plethora of feelings will likely bombard our minds. But it is what we do behind the scenes with these feelings that makes the difference.

Keep sober-minded or in control of what is happening in your heart. Admit the truth of how you feel instead of suppressing it. Express your thoughts to God in prayer and allow Him to challenge any natural responses that would be harmful or incorrect. As you allow Him into the deepest part of your soul He will effect the changes needed to help, heal, and restore your broken parts. His perfect grace brings hope through the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we grow in grace, the watching world will look at us, God’s children, in a similar way auction goers observe the auction process. They will see and be blessed by the visible outcome God has produced in our lives. To them it may seem unbelievable. But the truth is that powerful behind-the-scenes heart and mind management makes all the difference. As we prepare our minds for action, keep sober-minded in spirit, and fix our hope on Christ, our responses to difficult circumstances are sure to bring glory to God.




By Sandra Sheridan

Contributing columnist

Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.