Our beloved pastor has been preaching from 2 Corinthians now for several months. This morning, his sermon included a quote from a book by Sam Storms that really struck home. And although the quote was rendered in the context of church behavior, I believe application in the context of personal behavior is also merited. Here's what we heard:
"...we must be governed not by pragmatism, but by biblical principle; not by self-promotion but by a Christ-centered passion; not by greed but contentment with what we have; not by a concern for quantity but a commitment to quality and spiritual excellence; not by what enhances our comfort but by a willingness to suffer for Christ's sake; not by a hunger for power but a recognition that in our weakness the glory of God is most seen; not by a hankering after fame but a willingness to labor in anonymity if only Christ is known; not on the best ideas that men can conjure up but in conformity with the wisdom that comes from above; not by the preferences of a world that denigrates revelatory truth but in accordance with the moral values of God's Word; and not as if physcial reality is all there is but in recognition of the power of the unseen spiritual realm."
In short, we must remember that, by nature, our thoughts do not match God's thoughts. To make matters worse, our sinful nature is urged on toward wrong thinking by our surroundings. We are surrounded by worldly thinking and worldly ways.
Paul and John caution us in this matter as follows:
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Rom 12:2and...
"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world." 1 John 2:15-16
Unless we are vigilant about taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, we will start to look less and less like Him and more and more like our world, quenching the power of our testimony for Him.
Indeed, we are to think on... or rather dwell on "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute... on anything excellent or praise worthy." Philippians 4:8
Fight the fight of faith! Think right to live right!