Wow! Take a look at my garden. This was on Sunday, July 14 – kind of embarrassing. I don’t have to neglect things for very long before the weeds start springing up. After a month they’ve pretty well taken over. And it’s not something that I can hide – it’s obvious to anyone who looks.
So I spent several hours that afternoon grubbing in the dirt until it looked a lot better. Where I could, I dug deep in the dirt to get out the roots—but I know I didn’t get them all. Lots of weeds have very deep roots. Even if I could get all the roots, weed seeds are blowing into the garden all the time. Unless my garden is in a greenhouse, weed seeds are unavoidable.
This got me to thinking about the renewed mind:
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Notice that there are two parts, two commandments from God in this verse. I need to renew my mind by acquiring right doctrine from God’s word. I also must refuse to conform to the thought patterns of this world (“world,” here, refers to everything surrounding us that’s in opposition to God).
Not being conformed is a lot like weeding. If I neglect God’s Word for a while my mind looks like the first picture. It isn’t pretty. My mind is unlike a garden, though, in that I can try to hide it. Most people – if I put on a good enough act – won’t even notice. It isn’t as obvious as an overgrown vegetable bed. I might even be able to fool myself. In fact, since my mind is the garden, I’ll probably fool myself into thinking that everything is okay. That’s why I try to read the Bible daily and to do a regular checkup, an inspection, to make sure my thoughts are aligned with His Word.
Of course, after I’ve done that work, new weeds will spring up again. It’s not avoidable – I can’t keep my mind in a greenhouse.
One of the toughest parts about weeding – something so common that it’s a comedic standard – is mistaking the desired plants for the weeds and vice versa. When I’m weeding, mind or garden, I must learn to distinguish between desirable thoughts (okra and sweet potatoes) and undesirable (weeds).
As I learn more from God’s Word, even after decades, I keep encountering thoughts that I imagined were fruitful. They’ve been there so long that I never realized their weed nature. Until “that which is perfect is come” I’ll continue to discover new weed species.
I won’t acquire a perfectly renewed mind before the return of Christ. But I can keep working on it.
Just a little food for thought.