Crisis and the Brain
In the recent past we’ve witnessed the second and third largest bank failures in US history, an estimated loss of $319,000,000,000. When the housing market crashed in 2008, nearly 200 banks closed over the next two years.
Tight clusters of bank failures are a sign of a tough economy. Who knows what the next couple of weeks will bring?
Now, I’m sure you are already aware that crises test the strength and basis of our faith. But did you know that they also test the mind?
Crises tempt us to give excessive mental attention to the negative, which produces feelings of worry, anxiety, and nervousness.
On the power of the mind, one of my mentors once said, “Everything accomplished by man is due to thought.” You might say that the human mind is the most powerful force on the planet, second only to God’s omnipotence. Thus, our dominant thoughts very much influence the way we look, act, and feel.
Therefore, maintaining proper mental focus in rough times is a test of our resolve to honor God with quality thinking.
The Importance of the Mind
Consider, the mind is the one area of life that God has given humanity complete freedom. With the mind we have the power to create or destroy. It’s the greatest risk ever undertaken by God. And it shows up in the second chapter of Genesis.
In wisdom, God provided our first ancestors a choice to trust him because obedience, like love, is always a choice. Neither can be forced without losing their innate power.
That’s why we see so many commands concerning the mind:
- “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind….” (Rom 12:2)
- “Set your mind on things above….” (Col 3:2)
- “Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy – think about such things. (Phil 4:8)
In fact, loving God with our mind is woven into The Greatest Commandment (Matt 22; Mark 12), which is founded upon The Great Shema from Deuteronomy 6. I could reference a dozen other verses, but these suffice.
In difficult times, you get to choose your response. Will you choose thoughts of gratitude over groaning, thankfulness over fear? Or will you allow the worries of economic uncertainty to dominate?
Our Creator commands us to purify our thoughts for an aligning of our mind with Christ’s. As we do this His Kingdom grows in us. And when it grows in us, it grows around us.
“Lord, today I surrender my thoughts and the process of my mind to your will. Help me to give thanks in all circumstances. Amen!”
(BONUS: If you have an extra 3 ½ minutes, take a listen to this song by Hills & Horizons. It’s been my go-to song for hope and encouragement in uncertain times.)
 Forrest C. Shaklee, “Thoughtsmanship for Wellbeing,” (Shaklee Corporation, 1951), 88.
Article by Brian Hershey, YFC Military Development Director