“Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds…” (Romans 12:2, NIV)
Many will recognize that the title of this devotional comes from the 1967 Paul Newman film Cool Hand Luke. In this film, set in the 1940s, Paul Newman’s character (Luke) gets arrested and placed in a brutal Florida prison. After trying to escape, Newman’s character is placed in solitary confinement under almost unbearable conditions. After being released back into the general population bunkhouse, the warden utters these famous lines: “You’re going to get your mind right… and I do mean right!”
Newman’s character never conforms to the brutal ways of the prison, and the warden’s definition of “getting his mind right” was about conforming to a system that was corrupt and deadly. However, there is a nugget of theological truth to the warden’s plea: there is a need to “get our minds right” when it comes to our choices and our ways of living out what we say we believe.
When Romans 12:2 speaks of “renewing your minds,” the Greek term for mind, nous, addresses one’s “mind-set” or way of thinking.
With so many voices competing to change our thinking, God provides ways to help shape and reshape our way of looking at the world. One key way is through worship.
Worship involves an intimate connection with the God who created us and who has a mission for us. As we gather together to sing, to pray, to confess, to read and hear Scripture, to give, and to participate in the Lord’s Supper, we are allowing God’s Spirit through His body to reshape how we think about things.
Worship teaches us to think differently about our purpose, our need, our redemption, our values, our priorities, and our future. That is why consistently gathering together to refocus our lives around the ways of Jesus is so crucial.
In a world that constantly pulls us in different directions and seeks to shape our ways of thinking in decidedly non-Christian ways, it is essential that we become worshipers together of the God who helps us get our minds right!
Prayer for the Week:
Merciful God, help us to think your thoughts by loving your ways;
Help us to love your ways by worshiping with your people consistently, so that you become the focus of all we say, dream, and do. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.
Charles W. Christian is managing editor of Holiness Today.
Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.