We are called as worshippers of God to give our lives fully to Him, keeping Him first in our lives so that we do not lose our hearts to this world.
However, one of the things that we are taught through His Word and His guidance is that the giving of ourselves to others is part of what is required of us. We give in part, not grounded in this world but grounded in God and connected to each other in love.
We are not to fear extending our hearts or our resources to others because the One who holds our whole hearts has an incomparable, inextinguishable amount of strength, love, peace, patience, faith, and all else to share with us. With us and through us.
I was interested in studying what and how God calls us to give to others, and I realized something startlingly obvious and yet crucial to understand – I think – in our Christian walk.
We are called to give, but we are not called to let others take our peace. We are not called to let others into our mind.
I searched scripture to make sure this was true, and this is what I found.
We are called to give our bodies:
- “But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.” (Matthew 5:38 NLT)
- “The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:4-5 NLT)
We are called to give our resources:
- “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Peter 4:10 NLT)
- “If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.” (Matthew 5:40-42 NLT)
- “If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.” (Proverbs 25:21 NLT)
We are called to give our hearts:
- “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” (Romans 12:9-10 NLT)
- “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.” (John 4:20-21 NLT)
(We give our hearts with the understanding that we are not handing over ourselves – our hearts – to this world, but extending our hearts to others. There is a difference.)
But what interested me most was that I couldn’t find any wisdom or call for extending our minds, for giving any handholds or footholds there.
We are not called to give our minds, any part of it, or give even an inch of the peace and truth that the Spirit of God has rooted in our minds.
Have you ever felt like your mind is being attacked? There is no wound, no blood, no army to be seen, but just when we battle with our words, the fighting can be fierce. That’s the battlefield of the mind. And while our minds, our hearts, and our bodies can all be attacked, I’m often more on edge for the latter two. I’ve learned to expect those kinds of attacks. When my mind is attacked…that’s scarier by far.
Ya know what I mean?
As I think about how we are never called to give our minds but protect our minds, I can’t help but think about the armor of God.
The helmet that protects the mind is the HELMET OF SALVATION. We stand planted in peace – in THE SHOES OF PEACE – but our minds are protected by peace with God, the sure and mighty peace of salvation. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
If the helmet of salvation is what protects our minds, then our peace is anchored in the hands of the One who equipped us in this fight.
We will drop our armor from time to time, and the little voices of worry and pride and doubt will begin to creep in. How do we get rid of them? Although it may not feel related at the time, we must have the forethought to reattach our helmets.
We must remember that we do not fight flesh and bone to protect our minds and hold fast to our peace. I said earlier that grasping the full realization of this battle, this struggle, can be frightening at times. But sitting here, reminding myself who stands on either side of the battlefield in my mind, I do not feel fear. I feel fear slip away. The one who would steal our minds and our peace is not the One stands before us but the one who crouches in the shadows, the ultimate thief. (John 10:10)
The enemy doesn’t level his sword at us. He levels his sword at our Defender, Our Savior, Our God. Christ defends us. He anchors us. He died for us so that we may live for Him, and He wants that life to be full of peace and purpose. His peace is not based on anyone else’s authority but only on His own, and it is by periodically stopping to catch our breath, check our armor, remind ourselves of these truths, and lift our hands in praise to Him that we will be called “overcomers.”
So do not lose sight of the One who provides us with peace that is above all understanding (Philippians 4:4-7). Let us not fear. Let us learn not to give ground in our minds. Let us stand with the weight of God’s arms around our shoulders, our hearts full of His presence and His peace. And let us extend that blessing to others who are fighting battles alongside us with all the love that has been lavished upon us.
The next time you feel your peace slipping away, ask yourself:
- Is my peace just slipping away, or is it being stolen?
- Why am I upset? Am I taking my frustration out on others who don’t deserve it?
- What does the Bible say about maintaining peace?
- Christ says that He has left an insurmountable for His followers. How can I reach for that peace now?
- What, in this situation, do I have to be thankful for?
We must step forward in peace. If there is an area in your life or a decision you are facing, pray for guidance and practice patience as you wait for an answer. The peace of the Lord is as eternal as the One who provides it, and He will give you peace with the decision that most glorifies Him Ask for an answer and practice your faith – your belief in God and His truth – as you wait.
Don’t give an inch of your mind. Don’t back down from the Truth. With faith and the armor of God protecting you, fight for your faith.
Give to others, but never give in to anything that contradicts Truth.