I was reading a cute story about a Sunday School teacher who had carefully prepared his lesson for the kids in his class. He was talking to them about the need for keeping their minds as clean as their bodies. To make his point, he held up a bar of soap.
“Uh, oh,” murmured one of the boys. “Here comes the commercial!”
In this day and age, it would probably be a good idea to teach this lesson to young AND old alike. I don’t doubt there are a lot of dirty minds that could use a good scrubbing. But it would require more than what a bar of soap could do.
Now here’s MY commercial…
Are you suffering from DMS? Do you know others suffering from it? What IS it, you are wondering? DMS is Dirty Mind Syndrome also known as “lust of the flesh.”
It’s something that anyone can catch. Young and old; rich and poor; Christian or non-Christian. It’s not that difficult. For you see, our minds have this tendency to think nasty thoughts. And when they get control of our brains they are not so easy to control. Like it says in Isaiah 64:6, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind,” (New Living Translation, NLY).
Before you know it, our minds are cluttered with unclean thoughts. A vulgar joke here, a naughty image there, an urge to satisfy those carnal desires and, before you know it, a kind of sludge starts settling in the mind. As it builds, it clogs the brain cells and bogs them down so that pure thoughts are prohibited from functioning thus leading to DMS. This disease can create so much corruption that it even causes addiction. Unless something is done to cure this malady, there is grave danger of eternal death instead of inheriting eternal life in God’s Kingdom.
That’s the bad news. But the good news is that healing CAN take place. One’s mind can become clean and whole again. DMS can be treated and cured once a person starts on a rehab process known as TIS—The Indwelling Spirit. Here is the antidote recommended by the Apostle Paul:
“The mind set on the flesh [DMS] is [eternal] death but the mind set on the Spirit [TIS] is [eternal] life and peace. Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God…But if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit dwelling in you,” (Romans 8:6, New American Standard Bible, NASB).
Paul also addresses the problem of DMS in his letter to the Galatian churches. Amongst the many symptoms that arise out of “the desire of the flesh,” such as idolatry, sorcery, uncontrolled anger, envying, drunkenness, and so forth, sexual immorality (adultery), impurity (fornication), and sensuality are at the top of the list (Gataians 5:16-21). Those who are plagued with these symptoms will one day find themselves disinherited from living in God’s Kingdom. “I have forewarned you,” the apostle says, “that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” (v. 21).
So, just as he does in his letter to the Romans, he recommends TIS to the Galatians for it produces just the right ingredients or “fruit of the Spirit” for curing DMS. “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (v. 22-23). These not only cure DMS (v. 24) they enable us to walk in hope as we seek to enter the Kingdom of God.
When we start thinking and doing according to the way Christ Jesus directs us, we can enjoy the good health that comes from TIS. This means, however, that we must be willing to set our minds on the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and walk the way Christ would have us go rather than our way.
In writing to the church at Ephesus Paul reminded them how once walked in their own way and how they suffered from DMS on account of it. Their “former manner of life,” that is, “their old self” which was being corrupted “in accordance with the lusts of deceit,” was due to walking in the “futility of their mind.” They became “callous” or indifferent having “given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice ov every kind of impurity with greediness,” (Ephesians 4 17-23). Besides other problems, they really had a bad case of DMS.
But now their lives were changed and their minds renewed by living on TIS through Jesus Christ. They had put on the mind of Christ and now they were restored to good spiritual health. Paul encouraged the believers, “that you be renewed in the spirit of your minds and put on the new self which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth,” (Eph. 4:24).
And thus, a whole transformation takes place with TIS. The mind is made clean and one can feel much better in the process. Unlike the way the sinful world thinks (breeding ground for DMS), believers think differently. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world [philosophy and trends of this modern age] but be transformed [changed] by the renwing of your mind, that your may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Interestingly, clean minds affect clean hearts. While your mind is pictured as the source of your thinking and reasoning, your heart is pictured as the source of your emotions and attitude. What affects the one affects the other. That’s why the heart is metaphorically referenced along with the mind for being focused on Christ.
In Ephesians 4:17, when Paul pointed out that the members were to no longer walk in the “futility of their mind,” he added, “…being darkened in their understanding, excluded [alienated] from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart…” (v. 18). When DMS is contracted, it’s also advisable to get a heart check up, as well.
As they say, the mind is a terrible thing to waste. The mind is truly a part of you that you want to keep clean at all times. And not only to prevent DMS, but to experience something that only TIS can provide. For one thing, it starts with having the kind of attitude Christ had. This includes looking out for the interest of others and not just your own interests. And when one starts thinking this way, one can expect to be blessed by it with wonderful joy and gratification. (See Philippians 2:1-18)
And, with this attitude comes peace beyond comprehension. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus,” (Phil. 4:7). Did you get that? Both “hearts” AND “minds”? So that with TIS, you can keep your mind trained on the positive features that produce such peace, namely “whatever is is true…honorable…right… pure…lovely [lovable and gracious]…good repute, if their be any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things,” (v. 8).
The Apostle Peter chimes in with the same kind of recommendation. He puts it in the context of being holy—that is, to stand apart from the crowd, and be a true fellow thinker like Christ. “Therefore, gird [prepare] your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation [second coming] of Jesus Christ,” (1 Pet. 1:13).
A clean mind is a most important objective for followers of Jesus Christ. A clean mind is a clear mind and a clear mind is a mature mind focused on the power we receive through him. You can have an open mind or a closed mind on certain things, but a clean mind is needed for better health. As it has been written, “If you want to be the picture of health, you’d better have a happy frame of mind.” Jesus is the One who puts us in that frame.
Here’s a lovely guitar special, “May the Mind of Christ My Saviour,” http://youtu.be/Y_ZBhSxWots
Good News to YOU!