A Sound Mind

bog

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It’s easy to gloss over a Bible verse in a quick 5 minute devotion, and miss some of the deeper implications. There’s a lot to learn and it takes constant focus.

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

One of the scriptures quoted a lot in the last couple of years is this.

II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

I looked up the word “sound” in The Compact Edition of the Oxford Dictionary. This dictionary gives quite a few more meanings than in the average online dictionary or modern dictionary sitting on a shelf. It goes back to some of the older meanings. Here are a few of them.

  • Free from damage, decay or special defect, unimpaired, uninjured; in good condition or repair
  • In proper condition for the purpose
  • Of land: Dry in subsoil; not boggy or marshy
  • Lette theym [sc. sheep] out of the folde, and dryue theym to the soundest place of the felde.
  • Its [sc. land] its soil, if swampy, becomes sound.  Safe, secure; free from danger
  • In full accordance with fact, reason, or good sense; founded on true or well-established grounds; free from error, fallacy, or logical defect; good, strong
  • Of judgment, sense, etc.  Based on or characterized by well-grounded principles, or good, practical knowledge, valid.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed in the garden, and sinned against God, the result was fear.

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

 

Adam was God’s man.  He had been newly created by God.  He had been given authority by the Lord.  Adam had named the animals.  And now, with disobedience and sin, he lost it all and was afraid.

One time I was at a small restaurant and observing a little toddler.  He had a piece of candy and his dad had told him that he could eat it after eating his food.  At some point, the little boy leaned down on the table, hid his face in his arms, and ate the candy, contrary to the command of his father.   The little boy was hiding his face while he was disobeying.  There is something about sin and the reaction of the conscience that causes a reaction of fear and hiding.

 

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. Abraham Lincoln Link

 

It is interesting that some of the older definitions of sound have to do with “not boggy or marshy”.  We’ve heard a lot about draining the swamp in recent years.

If we want to obey II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, in a way that goes beyond simply resisting personal fear, we can see that a simple study of the word “sound” leaves us with homework to do.


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