More thinking about thinking…

φρονέω,v {fron-eh’-o}
1) to have understanding, be wise   2) to feel, to think   2a) to have an opinion of one’s self, think of one’s self, to be   modest, not let one’s opinion (though just) of himself exceed   the bounds of modesty   2b) to think or judge what one’s opinion is   2c) to be of the same mind i.e. agreed together, cherish the same   views, be harmonious   3) to direct one’s mind to a thing, to seek, to strive for   3a) to seek one’s interest or advantage   3b) to be of one’s party, side with him (in public affairs)

(By the way, I’m still in mourning for the loss of zhubert.com; it was a great online Greek resource… but http://www.greekbible.com/index.php is no slouch.)

I found this verb in Romans 8:5 this morning. I’m still mulling over what it means to “consider yourself dead to sin”. I thought this verse could be related to the conversation.

It’s quite a wake-up call to realize that when I allow my mind to become focused on the flesh, I become hostile towards God!

I love God. I don’t want to be hostile towards the One I love the most (and who loves me more than I can ever understand). But there it is in black and white… when I allow my mind to stay in the flesh, instead of staying grounded in the Spirit, my attitudes and actions become hostile towards God. I begin to get upset at “having” to follow, rather than rejoicing in the Way that God has laid out for me in the Word (Ps. 119:105, right?).

Another thing that caught my attention: in English, when I read verse 6, I see a verb: “to set the mind”… as if I’m making a conscious choice, a decision to jettison the Spirit and to choose the flesh. So, I went looking for that verb in the Greek… IT’S NOT THERE.

What IS there is a NOUN. Phronema, “as a result of thinking; mind-set, way of thinking, outlook, aim”. Do you see? I’m not making a CHOICE to reject the Spirit… the mind-set of staying in the flesh is a RESULT of when I consider my life to be “fleshly”. In other words, whenever I choose to live according to the flesh (phroneo, at the top of the post), I’m going to develop a mind-set of being in the flesh. One follows the other. And once I’m in the mind-set of the flesh, it’s very difficult to break out of that mind-set.

In fact, the only way I know how to get out of it, is to go back to verse 5b: “but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” When I PONDER the things of the Spirit, I develop a mind-set of the Spirit… which, in turn, reinforces the actions of the Spirit in my life.

Which leads to the question: what are YOU thinking about these days?

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