I’ve been reading through Dallas Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy. It’s a must read for people interested in the vital message of Christ and the Kingdom. The following quote leaped out at me:
“Now we need to understand that what simply occupies our mind very largely governs what we do. It sets the emotional tone out of which our actions flow, and it projects the possible courses of action available to us. Also the mind, though of little power on its own, is the place of our widest and most basic freedom. This is true in both a direct and indirect sense. Of all the things we do, we have more freedom with what we think of, where we will place our mind, than anything else. And the freedom of thinking is a direct freedom wherever it is present. We need not do something else in order to exercise it. We simply turn our mind to whatever it is we choose to think of. The deepest revelation of our character is what we choose to dwell on in thought. What constantly occupies our mind – as well as what we can or cannot even think of.
But the mind is also at the root of our indirect freedoms – of things we can do if we do something else…. [A] part of the call of God to us has always been to think. Indeed the call of Jesus to ‘repent’ is nothing but a call to think about how we have been thinking. And when we come to the task of developing disciples into the fullness of Christ, we must be very clear that one main part, and by far the most fundamental, is to form the insights and habits of the student’s mind so that it stays directed toward God. When this is adequately done, a full heart of love will go toward God, and joy and obedience will flood the life.”
The Divine Conspiracy. Dallas Willard. HarperCollins: New York, 1998. 324-25.