“And be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude .” (Ephesians 4:23)
I need to be continually allowing God to renew the way I think. To change my mind, in fact
Paul is calling for a God-perspective that initiates a God- life. Further, it’s not just about what I believe, but how I believe it! We are not dealing here with dry “doctrinal statements” with a mental tick-box of assent, but about the way that belief transforms our feelings, our attitudes and our behavior.
And the word “Renewed” here is Ananeoo. It means to make new or YOUNG! It derives from the root word neos. This means “new in respect to time” in contrast to kainos which means new in respect to quality Neos describes that which has recently come into existence . A baby is always Neos, but a couch could be kainos (re-upholstered).
What’s the point? Your mind is not a patch-up but a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)
According to the Greek dictionary: “ananeoo is not the renewing activity which replaces an earlier state, i.e., “to renew what is old,” “to refresh or reinvigorate a tired being.” ananeoo (like the Latin recentare) is to be distinguished from anakainoo (cf Latin renovare or renovate) as neos is from kainos. It involves a new beginning in time as distinct from qualitative renewal.”
Here is the news: In Christ You are not renovated but innovated!
Now renewing my mind doesn’t primarily mean some kind of brainiac exercise in the natural processes of memory, judgment and perception, but Paul’s phrase is ‘the spirit of the mind.’ He means that our deepest mechanisms of emotions and will are under new management: the indwelling Holy Spirit now directs the drive and intentionality and purposive direction of our lives. He leads us into new patterns of thinking, new and richer times of fellowship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, new insight and revelation.
Now at this point we are tempted to confuse crisis and process. It’s done! “I am a new creation” It’s like confusing microwaves with slow-cookers. Two dots and ready to serve! And it’s true –in one sense- this renewal points to a complete reversal in perception. Once I was blind, now I see! Everything has changed forever. But don’t forget that present continuous tense.
Continually renewed suggests being born daily.
So the answer to the question is: (1) Stop being poured into the mold of this fallen, godless, and overtly anti-God world system. (2) Continually allow yourself to be changed, transformed like a caterpillar into a butterfly. Nicodemus, you must be born again! (And again!)
But you willl find that your normal processes actually sharpen up too! You were designed for this, remember! This isn’t a suppression of free thought, it’s a release of freedom….into sharper thinking, radical insight, spiritual perspective.
Not geared for success or glory as an end in itself, whether it be academic or entrepreneurial, financial, political, or winning X Factor, but geared to approach all those things (Everything is permissible!) from a particular perspective.
A God-shaped point of view.