A Sound Mind

2 Timothy 1:7 (WEBBE): For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.

The Greek word that is translated here with self-control is σωφρονισμός (sōphronismos), which is translated as “a sound mind” in the King James Version. Thayer’s Greek Definitions defines the word as follows:

1) an admonishing or calling to soundness of mind, to moderation and self-control
2) self-control, moderation

I love studying the Bible, because there is always confirmation and elaboration on any topic that you can think of. So lets go to Isaiah, to see what he prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth:

Isaiah 26:3 (KJV): Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

“Perfect peace” sounds to me like a very good opposite for fear! Now the question is how to we get this perfect peace? By keeping our minds focused on God.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul writes about the topic of renewing your mind. He starts off by describing the opposite – what an unrenewed mind is like.

Ephesians 4:17-19 (WEBBE): 17This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts. 19They, having become callous, gave themselves up to lust, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Not having a renewed mind results in being “alienated from the life of God”. And then the temptations of the world take over. And fear starts to play a larger role than God.

Ephesians 4:20-24 (WEBBE): 20But you didn’t learn Christ that way, 21if indeed you heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: 22that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit, 23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.

Here Paul writes how the Ephesians “put on the new man”. Note that this is an active verb – it is something that they did. Lets look at what James wrote about doing:

James 1:22-25 (WEBBE): 22But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a mirror; 24for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25But he who looks into the perfect law of freedom and continues, not being a hearer who forgets, but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.

Just like the Ephesians, we should decide to renew our minds and actively do something about it. We should fill our minds and hearts with the Word of God, and then do the Word. That way we will be connected to the life of God!