“For as he thinks within himself, so he is…” (Prov. 23:7a; NASB)
A quick trip to the local bookstore and even a superficial perusal of the food section will yield a plethora of books on dieting and eating designed to help the reader change his habits of consumption. The tenor of the books? “You are what you eat.” “Eat right to live right.” Or as my wife likes to say, “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.”
It may be true that you are what you eat physically, but it is true that you are what you eat spiritually. An unbalanced spiritual diet will yield an unbalanced spiritual life. Undigested spiritual food will leave one with little nourishment and indigestion. This is exactly why it is not only critical to eat solid Biblical food (spiritual truth), but to digest it fully (think clearly about it and apply it with firm diligence).
The mind as the center of a man’s life and activity is a consistent Scriptural theme. [Check it out: do a Biblical study of the words “mind,” “believe,” and “think.”] This is the point of the passage before us. A selfish man’s motives will be exposed and his friendship will not be one that will be mutually beneficial — because his heart will be revealed in a moment of crisis (v. 6). So it is true with all men.
To think in our heart is to cut to the core of our belief system. Heart thoughts not the words that we mouth. Heart thoughts are not the creeds we superficially follow. Heart thoughts are not the doctrinal statements to which we nod in agreement. Our heart thought is that which drives our actions when it is put under pressure. It is what we really believe. And what we really believe is what we really are.
This is why it is essential to think carefully, critically (in the best sense of the word), and clearly about Biblical issues. It is not just an argument about vain theology — it is a debate about life and that which gives life. While we do not wish to unnecessarily divide fellowship with believers, neither do we desire to unwittingly embrace error — that which will destroy our lives when the doctrine is placed into the crucible of life.
Consider just a few affirmations about thinking right:
- “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6)
- “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Rom. 12:2)
- “be renewed in the spirit of your mind…” (Eph. 4:23)
- “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2)
Eat right to believe right. Believe right to live right.