How do you handle your personal hygiene? How about your diet, proper rest, and exercise?
I think I do a pretty good job of taking care of my physical appearance. I shower every day and use deodorant. I floss and brush my teeth and gargle with a mouthwash. I wear clean clothes regularly and get a haircut monthly. My parents taught me to do a good job with my personal hygiene because it is important to take care of myself, as well as present a good image to others that I am self-disciplined.
Luke 2:52 indicates Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and men. That seems to indicate a framework of health: Mental/emotional, physical, spiritual, and social. Let’s tackle the first component. How is your mental hygiene? With what do you feed your mind each day?
Read Colossians 3:1-17.
In Colossians 3:2, the apostle Paul used the verb “set” in connection with the mind. He told his fellow Christians to be sure to keep allowing thoughts about Jesus and His ways to rule their minds. He argued that setting out minds on Jesus should not be casual and lazy, but intentional and deliberate. We should focus our thinking on who Jesus is, what He taught, and always renew a desire and willingness to practice the kind of life he modeled in Scripture.
Paul wrote that our aim should be to seek spiritual things (v 1-4), resist the urges of sin (v 5-11), and to pursue and put on the character of Christ (v 12-17). Since our life is WITH Christ in heaven (v 3), and our position is IN Christ (the book of Ephesians), all that Christ has and offers is available to us, i.e., grace, power, blessing.
This does not mean we do not think about earthly stuff – doing homework with excellence, showing up for work with a good attitude and work ethic, being a good steward of your time, talent, and treasure, honoring your parents, etc. However, these things should never be our ultimate goal, and/or master. They are the output from a godly life and perspective.
As followers of Christ, we are called to keep moving toward Christ-likeness even as we get our marching orders from heaven via Scripture. We must be heavenly minded and well as earthly excellent, as we work to make the planet more like God created it (and intended it) to be.
One key the apostle stressed is to allow the Word of God to dwell in you richly (or thoroughly). The Word of Jesus (i.e., Scripture) must be continually read, heard, studied, discussed, meditated on, prayed about, memorized, and practiced, so that it dwells in us. As these practices become part of our holy habits, our thoughts, motivations, words, and deeds will be better influenced by God (see Psalm 119:11 and John 15:7-8). It will also benefit us and those around us.
The goal of our spiritual journey is to be conformed to the image and likeness of our Lord (Romans 8:29). So the key is to fill our minds with things that reflect and honor Him. Colossians 3:16 says psalms, hymns and spiritual songs should be used to teach the Word and encourage believers to live lives of obedience. Scripture is required for a mental hygiene checkup.
Walk wisely. Be intentional and thoughtful about what you think about and dwell on.
Love is a verb,
©2013 by Mike Olejarz