A Depraved Mind

Acknowledging our total depravity assaults our pride and self-sufficiency. As we age, however, we more easily admit the deterioration of our physical composition. In recent years, our terrorized world, which seems to bleed evil deeds, makes it easier to concede our irreparably corrupt hearts.

Perhaps our last holdout is acknowledging the depravity of our minds.

We don’t want to admit that our fallen-ness has corrupted our capacity to think rightly, that the world has polluted our thought-processes, and that our society’s values have contaminated a once universal standard of right and wrong. We’re impressed with our own intelligence and how quickly we can Google for answers.

A warning from the Apostle Paul stops us in our tracks:
“the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (1 Corinthians 3:19).

God has an alternate plan for his people. It requires a total re-orientation—a recalibration of our thinking patterns and a revamping of old habits.

Paul tells us, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2.

Have we become so familiar with these words that we assume we’re doing this? Paul’s two-part exhortation involves shutting down one process and submitting to another.

Shutting down the thinking of this world starts with realizing our own inadequacy. We are incapable of thinking God’s thoughts on our own. We have no ability to transform our minds to be like his. We’re completely dependent on divine intervention. Without God’s enabling we will only do what is right in our own eyes, we’ll do what we think is best.

Shut down your conformity to the world’s values and the world’s agenda.

The second part is to submit to God’s transforming process. The Holy Spirit is the one who transforms our minds, but that doesn’t mean we are passive in the process. God gave us the Scriptures as an alternative to the thinking of the world. Exposure to God’s Word is not enough—we must be immersed in it, saturating our minds with God’s truth, giving focused attention to the Scriptures.

Spending a day without Scripture is foolish and arrogant—it assumes that our own thoughts are sufficient—we can figure this out.

This is why we memorize the Bible. It’s not about ADDING Scripture to our day. The point is to REPLACE our default thinking with God’s way of thinking. Saying God’s Word out loud, over and over, day after day, chapter upon chapter, allows God’s Word to replace worldly perceptions and fleshly inclinations with His perspective and his standard. Over time, this process will transform our minds by renewing them.

My fellow memorizers, do not lose heart in your daily discipline. Do not become weary in seeking God’s thoughts above your own. Your diligence is a rejection of the world’s ways and a submission to God’s. Stay the course. You are planting good seed that will reap a harvest of wisdom and a sanctified mind.

What else would you like to say about the power of God’s Word to transform our depraved minds?

10 comments to A Depraved Mind

  • Beverly Schlomann

    Thank you for writing this! Memorizing God’s Word has truly transformed my mind, and I am so grateful for your encouraging me in this discipline.

    • Hi Beverly, It’s my joy to encourage others because I know where I would be without God’s Word—deceived and miserable. The Lord had a plan from the beginning, to give his people written words so that we can know him and live in grace.

  • Chérie

    This is the reason we memorize. I am always shocked at the negativity or ambivalence I get from other Christians on the occasion I do bring up the subject of memorization.
    Thanks for this awesome reminder of how to succinctly put into words why we do what we do. Mega-memorizing isn’t just for those who have a knack for memorizing, or have a lot of time on their hands, or have OCD. It’s for everyone who wants to know God better.
    Well said—as always, my friend.

  • Janet, you said so many truths in this post. God’s Word is essential for us to be able to think and act in ways that please Him. When left to my own thoughts, I worry, I think thoughts that disturb me and cause me to doubt Him and judge others. To memorize and meditate on Scripture is what I believe it means to love God with our minds. The first commandment is “love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength:” (Mark 12:30) God mentions our minds for a reason! Also knowing Philippians 4:8 reins my thoughts in when I dare to think on my own. Thank you for this bold post that reminds us that just exposure to the Word is not enough. We must renew our minds with it, by immersion!

    • Hi Vickie, Yes you’re right on loving God with all our minds. What a great way to love him. Saying God’s Word out loud is worship and a yearning to be all that the Word says. We won’t live biblically if we don’t think biblically.

  • Rosie Handley

    Oh my, Janet, what a “gift” you gave to all who desire to be immersed it His precious thoughts. I really appreciate your boldness to call life as it is today. Memorizing and reviewing His word not only helps to keep us on the path He designed for us, but encourages to look to our future which is incomprehensible. We are drawing closer to eternity each day.

  • Diana Binford

    Thank you Janet, for this reminder of how to keep “evil” at bay. It truly helps to “chew on” the Word, to ponder, to meditate and to memorize. I think that the more we memorize, the more we will be led by the Spirit so that our inclinations will be more Christ-like. At least that is my prayer that I will be cleansed more and more from the inside out, so that more Godly actions will be likely flow out. It is easy to get discouraged when the progress I think that I should make, doesn’t materialize. Your posts of encouragement are a great help!
    How blessed we are in this nation to have the Word so readily available. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Hi Diana, That is one of the goals in memorizing, to be led by the Spirit in our actions. We live out what we believe and memorizing teaches us and reinforces what we are to believe. Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all our community. We have been blessed beyond measure.

  • Ruth

    Thank you for your encouragement to keep going. I appreciate your example and am so thankful for the ability to memorize Scripture.