Monday, March 1, 2010

Brain Love

As Christians, we are probably all familiar with the greatest commandment: Love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And, as regular church attenders, we probably have all heard sermons about this verse. You may have heard it broken down like this:

Heart: Your Emotional/Relational Self
Soul: Your most inner life force
Mind: Cognitive, your brain
Strength: Your Body & Actions

Now, to be sure, Christians are Platonic in this sense. We don't think that our souls are good and our bodies are bad. We are to love God with all of our being. We "feed" or "express" love in these 4 areas in different ways; going to church, praying, reading Scripture, acts of service, healthy eating, and working out can all be expression of love to God and practices which help us love Him more.
So here's the question: What are you doing to feed your mind?

Now, I have to admit, I am have a great interest in formal education. As a graduate student with aspirations to eventually become a professor or theology teacher of some kind, I definitely have in mind some ways to feed the brain in ways that please God!
But what about outside of the classroom? What are you doing to help yourself gain knowledge of who God is and how He interacts with the world? I'm not just talking about reading your Bible or praying here. Although those are amazingly powerful and definitely good practices, they're not focused primarily upon loving God with your mind. They are, in many ways, "whole body workouts." So what are you doing for your brain?

What are you reading these days?

I am, like I said, in class regularly. I have really been challenged by some books I've read for my classes: Evangelism, holiness, and Scripture. This year, though, I have tried to become more disicplined in my personal life to grow in God. Although I would have to admit that I am notorious for starting a book and never finishing it, I learned some good things already this year. I have read about cross-cultural servanthood, repainting the Christian faith, and being on God's anvil. One book that I have been more faithful in reading is a commentary I am using in my daily devotional life. There are tons of great magazines and journals out there too!

So what about you? Are you reading anything? Do Christians need to be reading or am I just biased because of my role in higher education?

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