“He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit” (Proverbs 17:27).
IT IS DANGEROUS TO LET OUR MINDS BECOME SO AGITATED THAT WE CAN’T CONSIDER OUR ACTIONS CAREFULLY. Our adversary, the devil, specializes in confusion. He loves to prey upon minds that are torn and upset by multiple worries, and he often has his greatest success in tempting us when we’re so beset by cares that we act on impulse, failing to consider the consequences of our actions.
Solomon observed that “a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.” But how can we have a calm spirit when many stressful things come at us at once, all of which have to be considered? There surely can be no question that this is one of life’s most difficult challenges, and there are no easy answers. Like most difficult things, however, cultivating a calm mind is a matter of training.
Our brains may have a more complicated connection to our spirits than the other parts of the body, but the brain (i.e., the physiological mind) is still a part of the body, and as such, it has to be trained to serve, rather than hinder, the spirit. Naturally unruly and seemingly with a will of its own, the mind has to be put in its place, disciplined, and taught to help us get to heaven.
Training our minds to be calm is like every other kind of training in that it has to be done in small steps. It’s a matter of incremental growth over time. What we do is put ourselves on a deliberate regimen of training, and we “exercise” every day. We find some little thing we can do today to help calm our minds, and that victory encourages us to do the same tomorrow.
At the very least, we need to consciously value a calm spirit. We need to pursue it, and when we find ourselves without it, we need to be wise enough to see the danger we’re in and make godly efforts to recover our calmness as soon as possible. If we can’t always be calm, we can certainly grow in that direction. Today, like every day, there is some step you can take that will lead to a mind that’s more peaceful — and more careful. What is that step?
“A calm mind is a great asset in this life. Without it your devotional life will not bear much fruit. If your heart is troubled, you are vulnerable to the enemy of the soul. When you are agitated, you are not able to make good decisions. You will stumble into snares” (Lawrence Scupoli).