Prayer for the day
Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Scripture for the day
As so often happens, in these passages today, Paul clarifies what is implied (or even explicitly stated) in the Proverbs. In the Proverbs, there is constant reference to the importance of purity of mind, through our talk with others, through what we think about in regard to sexuality and other arenas of life, and through what we take in through various media.
The Proverbs speak of how we should avoid people who would seek to plant evil in our hearts, or draw us into the trap that the wicked lay, in order that we be led astray and contaminated by evil. Regularly the writer exhorts the one who reads and listens to maintain integrity, honesty, and purity in the face of wickedness, deceit, and impurity.
Paul adds laser-like focus to these exhortations when he speaks of the practice of taking every thought captive. Every thought, and every action, according to Paul, is placed in obedience to Jesus through the weapons of the Spirit that he (and his followers) wield.
The standards of Paul’s actions, he says, are not according to the world, but according to God. Thus the judging of Paul’s actions must come from a godly place, and not a place of worldly wisdom. His action, he claims, is to obey Christ, and to ensure that all things that are happening under his oversight are happening in obedience to Christ.
This means that the arguments he encounters in the church as well as in himself, that the thoughts he encounters externally and internally, that everything he encounters within the church and within himself, must be subject to obedience to Christ.
We would do well to heed the exhortation and command of Paul, to ensure the thoughts and actions we encounter within the church as well as within ourselves are captive to Christ, and are in obedience to him.