The people had a mind ... (Nehemiah 4:6)
The fact that everyone possesses a mind which is unique to them makes analysing its workings an immense challenge. No two human minds are the same. Since time immemorial man has been interested in understanding how the mind operates. This study is today known as psychology, or the science of the mind. The British Broadcasting Corporation science website states ‘The human mind is the most complex machine on earth’.
How then is something of such complexity, individuality and invisibility to be analysed? The Lord Jesus gave us the answer: ‘by their fruits you will know them’ (Matthew 7:20). Our actions give expression to our thoughts, which in turn reveal who we are. As ever, scripture is simply true when it says of man, ‘as he thinks in his heart, so is he’ (Proverbs 23:7). There is an indivisible link between our behaviour and our thoughts. What we do, feel, and perceive are all rooted in the functioning of our mind.
That being the case, it is easy to understand the importance of this element of our being. If this faculty is in any way affected, either beneficially or adversely, then the whole character is consequently impacted. The malfunctioning of our physical body is far more readily identified, examined, diagnosed and treated than is the dysfunctional mind.
It is with this in view that Peter urges us to ‘gird up the loins of your mind’ (1 Peter 1:13). It is of principal importance to maintain mental health and protect this vital part of our person against harm.