While reading and studying my Bible the other night I found one of the best metaphors that I have possibly ever read! That might be an overstatement because the Bible is full of great analogies and metaphors. What is sad is the fact that most English reading people would never see it in their English Bible translations. By the way, I am not blaming translators as they have an incredibly hard job to take the New Testament, which was written in Greek, and translate it into English. This is the same English language where words like Love have an entirely different meaning than in the 1st century Greek-speaking time period of the New Testament writers.
This metaphor I am talking about comes from 1 Peter 1:13 which in the ESV states: “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” In the ESV you do not get the full picture of what Peter is saying. Here is how the phrase “preparing your minds for action” should actually be translated if translated literally: “gird up the loins of your mind” What I have just said in the above sentence is the metaphor that had me sitting on my couch with my mouth wide open in awe.
In the 1st century, people wore clothing that we would call a robe and these robes were rather long. So imagine with me for a second that you are wearing this robe, how are you going to run without tripping over it? How are you going to do any quick physical act without it being in the way? Well, you would first gird up your robe, so that you could do the physical action necessary! What I mean by gird is that if you lived in the 1st-century eastern culture that Peter did, you would actually pull up your robe so that it would tuck in the belt that goes around your waist. Similar metaphors in of our time would be to “roll up your sleeves.” So the ESV gets the idea that Peter is getting at which is being prepared for action but the metaphor that we miss in the ESV (and in most English translations) is so beautiful.
So back to the 1 Peter 1:13, what is Peter getting at? He is saying that we need to have our minds ready for action! Our minds need to be ready and focused so that we can complete the actions that God has for us in this life. We do this knowing that we will receive our reward at the second coming of Christ. Remember that obedience to Christ always starts in our mind! So many people think that being a Christian means you are not “thinking” but Peter says that “not thinking” is quite the contrary to what Christians should be doing.
As Christians, we should be using our minds to dissect the Word of God and think about what God would have us do. Faith is not something contrary to rational thinking; it is not something we believe in spite of evidence. It is actually quite the opposite, we think about Christ which leads us to have hope for a future with him which in turn leads us to live in this world the way He would want us to! I’ll sum it up with something one of my favorite theologians Dr. Jack Cottrell always said in our seminary courses “right thoughts lead to right actions.”
One thought on “Gird Up The Loins Of Your Mind???”
The mind of Christ starts with learning about Christ by and thru study of the Word. That was a mistake I made as a busy mother-wife raising children and holding down a career. I think that is the greatest need today. Young parents somehow need to include study of scripture in their busy schedules. As you said that leads to a heart of love and direction from God. I enjoy your blog. Bless you.
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