“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” – Philippians 2:5 KJV
I recently read a story in Mark Batterson’s book, IF, about Dr. Wilder Penfield a neurosurgeon who had operated on 1,132 patients. Many of his patients suffered from epileptic seizures and he sought to know why.
Penfield performed many opened-brain operations some of which required the patient to be conscious during surgery. It was during these conscious surgeries that he made a fascinating discovery. Using a mild electrical current he stimulated various parts of the cortex, and some of the patients experienced flashbacks—vivid memories from past events replayed in their mind’s eye.
One patient recalled every note from a symphony she had heard at a concert many years before. Another recalled sitting at a train stop as a child, and she gave the description of each train car as it went by in her memory.
Beyond the detailed recollection, the thing that struck Dr. Penfield was the fact that many of the memories were all but forgotten. His conclusion: every sight, every sound, every experience, every conscious thought and subconscious dream is recorded on our internal hard drive, the cerebral cortex (Batterson, p. 75, 76).
Perhaps this is one of the reasons the Bible talks so much about our mind (Romans 8:5), and the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). Every time we read the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to “read us” as we study, God’s thoughts are engraved and inscribed on our cerebral cortex!
Neurologically speaking, we are recruiting new neuronal connections and rerouting old neuronal connections. Slowly but surely, our brain is being rewired and renewed (Romans 12:1, 2). When we download His Word over time, those downloads upgrade our thinking so that the mind of Christ is formed in us.
“For, who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach Him? But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:16 NLT
In Colossians 3:2 the Apostle Paul gives us some practical exhortations about what we are to do with our minds.
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
Here are a few suggestions that you might attempt. Select two or three and begin to take steps of godly obedience today!
- Strive to put heaven’s priorities into daily practice (Matthew 6:33).
- Curb your desires for improper pleasures (Galatians 5:16). What are some of your improper pleasures? Perhaps there are healthy pleasures that could become unhealthy and you know they need to be kept in check?
- Attempt to look at life from God’s perspective. This could be related to…
- a death of a loved one
- a personal grave diagnosis
- a difficulty in a marriage
- a new job opportunity
- establishing a fresh relationship with the opposite sex
- deciding on your primary purpose for the next 5 years (2 Corinthians 4:7-12).
- Be intentional by living materialistically responsible (Matthew 5:25-34).
- Sacrificially love someone without enabling them. Remember, most of the time we ought to be responsible to someone but not responsible for that person (1 Thessalonians 4:11,12).
- Make the effort make amends with a broken relationship. This is a two-way street. Do all you can but they must do all they can (Romans 12:8).
- Develop the habit of going out of your way to help someone (2 Corinthians 8:14 NLT). A simple question to ask someone today is: “Is there any way I can help you?”
- Release another of their past sin against you (Ephesians 4:32). This does not mean you agree or condone their behavior, but it does mean you will remember their misconduct without negative emotions that pull you down.
Let’s make the effort together to reroute old neuronal connections with God’s inscriptions on our internal cerebral cortex! ☺