Romans 12:9 [ Behave Like a Christian ] Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. NKJV
We ought to be learning & experiencing good while avoiding evil.
We choose how, what, and to where we focus our attention. Are we going to focus upon problems or solutions. Of course we first must identify our problem, but then we must more importantly understand the solution. So the greater attention and effort of our thinking would be best place toward solutions/God. How we govern our thoughts will in a large degree define our salvation.
We must align our thoughts with God's character which connects us correctly to our hearts; mercy, compassion, love etc. If we follow our hearts without governing our thoughts we follow our selfish desires or feel good personal beliefs. Let us remember complete cultures and societies have beliefs that other societies view as weird, wrong, and silly. All of us follow silly ideas and beliefs. If we cannot accept this fact little change can occur. Our decisions and choices must be in the process of aligning more toward God. This can only happen if we regularly seek to better understand God and practice Godly activity. Just reading instructions does not bring the instructions to life. We must do what it says.
The links below present in different ways some of the limitations within our thinking. When we can better understand our faulty perceptions we can become better at reducing mistaken understanding and choices. We can improve our ability to see where we make mistakes and can correct them. Are we moving toward correction?
Learn to think objectively
Some sites to read:
Some youtube suggestions to watch (Can also play and just listen:)
Please continue to learn more about perception, we use it all the time and it influences us in all that we do.
Ever get a song stuck in your head? The more you try to get rid of it the worse it gets? Our mind has a life of its own and we still have much to learn what makes it tick. Our spirit has something to do with our mind and our mind has something to do with our spirit. We know our mind affects how we feel. We have learned that increased self-discipline with our thought choices can provide more control over our feelings. Following feelings or doing what feels good can be a spiritual malady. We must not let feelings alone dictate our actions. The most important point is that we are to follow God's path of Truth, Justice, and Love through reason, wisdom, and discernment. Just trying to follow love (perceived feeling) can easily lead toward spiritual destruction. We ought to train ourselves and training always involves self-discipline and suffering. Training involves focus, commitment, perseverance, endurance, suffering, growth, maturity, development, change, fulfillment, planning, learning, shaping, repetition, and mastery. R U ready to be trained by God's ways, paths, and character?
Strong's Concordance: Mindful or the greek word mnaomai: be mindful, remember Definition: I remember, recollect. http://biblehub.com/greek/3415.htm
We recall and replay within our minds previous learning and experiences all the time. Most of it occurs without control. Images and memories from our experiences can produce feelings like worry, gratitude, joy, sadness, anger, fear, and peace. Such images and memories can trigger desires for food, sex, drugs, gambling, and violence.
This is our spiritual atmosphere. Our mental ambiance for the most part has been created by our experiences growing up. As we mature through life the people we surround ourselves with teach us how to think, believe, and act. This does not mean we accept the teaching completely, but we do here the teaching and the teaching and our reaction toward it stays with us. Some of us accept the teaching and accommodate it into our beliefs letting it shape our identity while others assimilate the teaching into the belief that it is a bunch of nonsense. Whatever the case may be the teaching is stored into our memories and such experiences are our only experiences of which to derive reason and discernment. We can only speak and act from what we have experienced. God calls us to gain experience in God's paths, ways, and character. Until we have such experiences we cannot truly know God. We can think and believe we know God, but that would be a terribly misunderstanding, which unfortunately, many people have accommodated into their beliefs.
How can we know love if no one has ever really taught us? How can we know truth if we have been taught dishonesty? We must deny our previous teaching and seek truth and love to see what it is and experience what that does to our spirit and soul. Then, having done so, we create experiences and memories which can have a powerfully positive affect upon our mental ambiance. Our faith from such experiences can grow.
If we have not experienced joy and peace it would be difficult to create images or remembrances within our minds to prompt us toward emotional responses of joy and peace. Therefore, it is essential for us to seek it out and experience it. And yes, it is possible for anyone willing to find it.
Luke 7:47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
Good news! Today is a new day where we can begin to seek God and experience God more and more.
How to be mindful: Seek Godly change and persevere in it. Endurance of a new life in God is required.
1. We give ourselves over more and more toward God
Each day as we awake we set our minds upon God as the bible describes God (It is valuable to check our beliefs about God with what the bible says to ensure our understanding is accurate. Otherwise we end up following a misunderstanding. Following a misunderstanding will only lead us into a misunderstanding and illusion.) Then we continue utilizing God's character within our thoughts as we go through our day. We practice becoming more honest, compassionate, patient, forgiving, merciful, just, generous, loving, and peaceful. We hold ourselves accountable to our choices, thoughts, and actions. We right our heart more and more with God's will. We pay close attention toward our heart and mind how they influence us toward our choices and habits. We resist our outward worldly habits more and more creating new inward spiritual habits through experiencing Godly character.
2. We pay close attention to the inward motivations and guiding thoughts
Most of us will need to slow down, eliminate distractions and concerns to learn about our inward prompts, anticipations, wants, and expectations. In meditation and solitude we can better understand our anxious thoughts, fears, and resentments which hurt our loving and peaceful connection with the spirit. We can't very well be at peace while we persist in remembering resentment or fear. First we ought to see how resentment is no good to us and choose to end our participation in remembering it. Then we ought to see how forgiveness is beneficial and choose to participate in it more and more. We can repeat this process, perhaps with a mentor, to decrease our destructive participation and increase our healing participation. Yet we ought to begin with an understanding of our fearful, resentful, and self-seeking thoughts. For most of us this is best through meditation, reflection, and solitude. We practice these until we can become skilled at it and do it with ease. Again, it may be best to seek a mentor for guidance. Not doing it because of discomfort, fear, or resentment might be already bringing our malady to light. If we our decisions are influenced by fear, selfishness, resentment, and dishonesty than we might be obeying the wrong spirit.
James 4:17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
Mindful vocabulary is used throughout the bible: think, thoughts, believe, convince, know, knowledge, understand, learn, stupid, fool, deceive, faith, hope, wish, meditate, seek, look, hear, listen, corrupt, correct, teach, show, demonstrate, reflect, and encourage.
The greatest commandment says we are to love God with all our mind. Remembering progress not perfection our spiritual responsibility is to move progressively toward God with an increased focus upon God's will. What can make it difficult is choosing to follow thoughts which prompt us against it. For most of us its the choice that is hard because we want to control our situation and limit discomfort or pain, even though there is suffering which produces freedom, love, joy, and peace. Our faith/trust can be greater with our own understanding than with Godly wisdom we yet to understand. We ought to grow in our understanding of Godly character and to do so, practice and experience in it is required.
Our salvation depends upon our faith. To increase self-awareness about our faith we can evaluate our actions. We write down all of our activities using the personal report card . God speaks to thoroughness so let us be thorough about our evaluation. Honesty & thoroughness can reveal much. This is a list of outward activity. We have yet to get to the underlying conditions of how we seek out doing it.
Writing down how we feel about the activities. Do we look forward to, fear, or resent what we do? How are our perceptions of what we do, what mental statements do use, do we roll our eyes or smile? This reflection can provide some insight into our attitude toward what we do.
Are we anxiously looking forward to the weekend or time off for some other activity? Is there some activity we seek out for pleasure which motivates us to get through the day or week?
We all have a lot to learn about ourselves and to live more and more aligned with God we ought to improve our self-awareness so we can grow in God's grace and leave dependency toward sinful ways.
Remember, our goal under God is love and peace.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
For a deeper understanding about our mental influences the following book may be of great benefit "Psychology of Intelligence Analysis"