...with all your mind.

Brain fitness

We've been taking a look through Matthew 22, and Jesus' answer to what the greatest commandment in the entire Law might be. The third area Jesus calls us to love God with is our mind. 


This post has been difficult to write, if only because in the Presbyterian stream (if not all of Protestantism) we are all over this! I am part of an entire Christian Education team at Westminster, set up in such a way so as to ensure that everyone at every age has a program to be a part of to learn as much about Christian Spirituality as possible. Sermons often times end up sounding more like a shortened lecture than the art form that they were originally meant to be. I have on my laptop a resource that can connect me with just about every commentary written on every verse of Scripture, and multiple translations. And it's available to everyone. 


And all of this is good! I wouldn't do what I do if I didn't think Christian Education was important. Particularly in this world we live in where too many people form their opinions on Christianity based on what they're hearing in the media or on the news. We need to dedicate a healthy portion of our time to educating people in what the true way of Christ, and against the distorted and warped versions that are out there in our world. 


But Jesus doesn't say that part of the greatest commandment is to stuff our heads with as much information about Christianity as we can. Jesus says we are to love God with all of our minds. This means the part of our minds that is dedicated to Spiritual practices, AND the part of our mind that is focused on our homework. It means to love God with the part of our minds that memorizes pieces of Scripture AND the part of our mind that memorizes sports statistics. It means that we love God with the part of our mind dedicated to Christian Education AND the part of our mind dedicated to reading writing and arithmetic (incidentally, how are those the three "Rs"?).


This has tremendous implications for those of us in youth ministry. How much of your time with students is spent encouraging them in their academic pursuits? Have you encouraged your students to view their studies as an act of worship (a thought that a seminary professor made abundantly real in my life)? When your students encounter a problem, do you rush to solve it for them, or do you allow them to work through their own problem  solving methods with guidance? 


Loving God with our whole mind does not mean stuffing our craniums with facts and figures about Christian Spirituality at the expense of everything else. It means claiming each part of our mind, each part of our intellect, each part of our cognitive facilities for Jesus. 


Next: Love Your Neighbor