Throughout the Bible we read that God is a generous God. He is a God of compassion who gives us all kinds of gifts to bless and equip us for life. One of these gifts that the Bible talks about is the gift of a sound mind. As we read in 2 Timothy 1:7, “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
For many of us, when we think about our faith journey and our relationship with God, we tend to focus on the spiritual and the physical. The spiritual includes things like our prayer life, our relationship with God and how we study His word to hear His voice. In the same way, much of our faith journey often focuses on the physical, the practicalities of how we live out our faith, what it looks like to be a disciple of Jesus in our day-to-day lives and how we can best love those around us.
Experience His fullness
God is also calling us to have a sound mind. God is inviting us to experience His fullness in all the different areas of our life. Whether it be in our mind, body or soul, God desires that we experience him and grow into his likeness. But while this gift of a sound mind is an encouragement, it is also a challenge. In this blog we’ll explore this gift of a sound mind more fully and unpack what it means for us as followers of Jesus today.
The gift of a sound mind
Living in the 21st century, we are far more aware than ever before of the reality of mental illness. And we are far more educated about the challenges of developing a healthy mental state. We are, in many ways, privileged to live at a time when there are numerous resources available to help us develop a sound mind in a challenging world. But, while it’s advantageous that we can receive help and advice from a number of different sources, it is important that we always start with Scripture. God himself speaks into the area of mental health through His Word. He invites each of us to develop a sound mind in our lives and in our walk with Him.
Living with a sound mind
So, the starting point for a conversation around mental health must be God. We must begin by going to God and asking Him to shape us in our entirety, including in our minds. And, as we see in 2 Timothy, God desires to do this. He desires that each of us walk through life with a sound mind, equipped for whatever comes our way. You can be reassured today that God doesn’t desire that you encounter mental health issues. He desires that you live with a sound mind at all times and through all circumstances.
In 2 Timothy we read that a sound mind is actually a gift from God. So, a sound mind is not something that we have to work for or earn. It is not something we have to labor for in our own strength. It is a gift that God gives willingly, without any strings attached. The starting point is simply accepting this gift, resting in this promise and trusting God that His good gifts are enough.
A sound mind in all seasons
The phrase ‘sound mind’ is a translation of the Greek word Sophronismos, which appears just once in the New Testament. This word carries the meaning of “an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, to moderation and self-control.” In other words, God’s gift of a sound mind is a mental state that leads to self-control in all its fullness. It is not just a mental state but a whole-person rootedness in Christ.
A sound mind, in Christ, positions you to take on all the circumstances of life. It equips you to journey through every season, always knowing that God is with you. Through receiving the gift of a sound mind, you can know that He has equipped you with all that you need for what lies ahead. This sound mind doesn’t mean that you will never encounter mental health issues. But it does mean that you can access a self-control that takes root in your soul, body and mind. It is an equipping gift of God that can be relied upon through every season and every circumstance of life.
A gift in the face of fear
The great news about God’s gift of a sound mind is that it is promised as an antidote to fear. The truth is that everyone will be affected by fear at some point in life. Whether it be fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of other people’s opinions or something else entirely, fear is a real emotion that can paralyse you and hold you back from all that God is calling you into. In Scripture we read time and time again that God desires that we live free from the grip of fear.
2 Timothy speaks into this reality of the paralysing nature of fear, and promises us a different way of living. In Christ there is no fear and in the presence of God’s good gifts fear is not welcome. While you may be living in fear right now, you can receive this gift of a sound mind. And this gift will cast out all fear and remove the grip that fear has over you.
God is a good God who wants to give you good gifts. Today, He is inviting you once more to Him, to receive His gift of a sound mind. He desires to give you this gift of power, love and a sound mind in the place of your fear and anxiety.
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