Most men don’t think of their minds in this way, but that doesn’t make it any less true. As Christian men, we should be especially aware of the warfare that is taking place in our minds on a daily basis. In a single day, a man’s mind is drawn to things like checking out the body of the woman that walks by, looking at the truck that their neighbor drives, comparing their perceived spiritual worthiness to those around them, and many other scenarios. Sure, some of these thoughts can result in a physical action or response, but the battle over the decision to act or respond is in the mind.
So, how do we war against our own mind?
For most men, thoughts of war normally emit a physical response; we want to prepare our bodies for war by increasing our physical strength and grit. However, you cannot win a battle in your mind by preparing your body. To a lot of men, this is disappointing because it is easy to see how to strengthen the body. You want to have better cardio? Run more. You want to have a stronger chest? Do pushups. You want to be able to jump higher? Perform plyometrics. But what if you need to increase your mental power? Paul helps us get an idea of how to do just that in 2 Corinthians 10.
In this section of his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul is defending his ministry and worthiness as a dispenser of the message of Jesus against a recalcitrant minority within the church. Not only that, he’s also having to defend his position and authority as an Apostle. His arguments and tactics could have gone several different ways, but he keeps the subject of his arguments on mental warfare.
In this situation, Paul has correctly surmised that this rebellious group is thinking way too highly of themselves. Their levels of self-sufficiency, personal ignorance, and personally perceived intellect are at very high levels. Furthermore, because they are acting in this way they are actually being disobedient to the Gospel and the church.
His response to these individuals is simple: make every single one of your thoughts accountable to God. Take the thoughts you’re having in your mind and hold them up against the power, sovereignty, grace, and mercy of God for comparison. In doing this, Paul is making this specific group of dissenters and anyone else who is paying attention focus on the reality of the Gospel.
How can you have mental strength and resilience? Focus on the Gospel, and check your thoughts to God.
How can you make the accountability of your thought life to God a priority in your everyday life?