Have you lost your mind?

For April 28, 2018 we are going to take a look at the Phrase of the Day, a rhetorical question that is sometimes asked in a state of utter disbelief. When an individual fails to understand the seemingly bizarre behavior of someone else, the question might be asked,

“Have you lost your mind?”

“To lose your mind” generally means to “to become mentally ill” or “to start behaving in an utterly foolish or strange way . . .”

I recall on rare occasions in my childhood my mother would emphatically ask, “Boy, have you lost your mind?” She questioned my state of mind in response to something I said or did that seemed totally irrational or absolutely “off the wall”, indicating that I was not seriously thinking about the consequences of what I was saying or doing.

In thinking about the expression, I also recall a specific occasion when someone warned me about the possibility of “losing my mind.” After being drafted into the Army during the late 1960s, I experienced salvation through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. During this time an Army buddy noticed that I was always reading the Bible and talking about God and spiritual matters to the degree that seemed too much for a person with a sound mind. In all seriousness, he pulled me aside and said, “Johnson, if you keeping studying the Bible so much, you’re going to ‘lose your mind.’”

Immediately, I went on the defensive and explained when I was in college, I devoted much more time and exerted much more effort in studying to earn my degree in pharmacy, and I didn’t lose my mind then. “Why should I lose my mind from studying the Bible?” I asked.

After a period of time, however, something strange began to happen. I began to “lose my mind,” but I began replacing it with a new mind. In studying the Scriptures, I was introduced to the concept of “renewing the mind,” the ongoing spiritual process that all believers go through every day we draw breath.

In nature we note this process of metamorphosis that butterflies and other organisms undergo, reminding us that, similarly, Christians are instructed not to be conformed but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:1). The New Testament phrase is translated from the Greek word metamorphoo, from which the English word metamorphosis is derived. The phrase is also used to express that as believers strive to manifest more of Christ in their lives, they are “changed” into the same image. The essence of this process is expressed in this response:

As we renewed our mind

And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed

by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove

what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

We will not to be conformed but transformed as we renew our mind

That we might see for ourselves all that God desires us to be.

We seek to walk in power and excel and not be left behind,

Striving to know even deeper levels of intimacy.

With laser precision we will target the old man nature,

And we will put to death the deeds of  the flesh once and for all.

We will respond in obedience in answer to God’s call;

For as we put on the mind of Christ, we will grow and mature.

Where darkness once filled our minds, the Word of God now inhabits.

Lying and all kinds of corrupt speech we learn to put aside,

We put off the old man, vile, corrupt, wrapped in sinful pride

And put on the new man, as one changes garments, habits.

Above all else we put on compassion, cords of love that bind

Our transformed hearts to one another, as we renew our mind.

We end with a scripture memory song based on Romans 12:1-2  “A Living Sacrifice” :

We should, indeed “lose our minds” and be transformed by renewing our minds that we may prove what is that “good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

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