Deliverance From a Passive Mind
Spiritual Life #76
Deliverance from a Passive Mind
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
It reminds you of the piece in John you remember, “And the word became flesh,” and then, “Dwelt among us.” And it brings to your mind that if God had remained forever an invisible spirit, such as often he’s presented through the eastern religions, you and I would probably never have been able to understand him. Indeed, no one except those special esoteric seers would have. But Jesus became an ordinary guy like us — an ordinary man, and handled nails before he handled them on the cross, and handled a hammer, and talked to ordinary people. And loved ones, that’s what has to happen again in your life and mine, if our world is to have the same chance of seeing Jesus. Only if his Spirit becomes that real and practical in each one of us will anybody see him again.
And really it’s beautiful the way we kind of see that being expressed tonight, because you can see that Satan is very happy for you and me to believe in Jesus, and to receive Jesus into our hearts, and even he’s very happy to pray to Jesus and read the Bible, as long as – as long as Jesus never begins to be practical in our lives. As long as he never begins to get down into our fingertips, Satan is satisfied with that. And I don’t know what your life is like, but if you’re not allowing Jesus to begin to express the love that he has put into you to other people in a practical way, or if you’re not allowing him to begin to change your life, or change even your future as well as your home and maybe your job, then it’s possible that you are grieving his spirit. It really is.
And I honestly think that America particularly, is full of loved ones who have spiritual indigestion because they have eaten, and eaten, and eaten, and eaten — on television, on radio, in churches, through books, through tapes –until they are that fat. [Gestures.] And they cannot move. And they don’t give any of it away. And they don’t use up any of the strength that Jesus has given them, and so they are just getting sicker, and sicker. And many of them have died and don’t even know that they’re dead.
And that is really what Jesus, I believe, is saying to us this evening, because it’s interesting, it falls right in with what we’re talking about these Sundays. Your spirit can do nothing with your big toe — not even your big toe. Let’s go to your little toe. Your spirit within you, where Jesus dwells, can do nothing with your little toe unless he can go through your mind. That’s it. That’s it. Until my mind says, “Little toe wiggle,” — you can’t see it but my little toe is wiggling, believe me — until my mind says, “Little toe wiggle,” the toe won’t wiggle.
The spirit can have all kinds of wonderful expressions of God within in it, can have a great sense of God’s adoration and praise, but even it cannot make the little toe wiggle, unless it goes through the mind. And I do think loved ones, that a lot of our lives are very unsatisfying because our minds are not redeemed at all. In fact, our minds hardly exist. And Phil commented about my enthusiasm for that — but if you had seen me 10 years ago when this girl, Debbie Crail, was coming home from teaching school and game into my office — and I said, “Deb, what have you in your bag?” And she said, “Oh, oh yeah, just some things I’m making for Christmas presents.” And I said, “Oh, let me see. Oh yeah, what is it?” And she said, “Well, they call it decoupage.”” And I said, “Decoupage? It looks like a plaque that you hang on the wall, is that right?” And she said, “Yeah.” And I said, “Oh well, let’s go down into the basement. And will you show me how we make those?” This year we will do probably $1.8 million in making plaques. That’s right.
Now, that has come because some people here in this room got their minds into touch with Jesus and began to use their minds to express the Savior in practical ways. That’s why, Phil, I’m enthusiastic about the light shade [An idea or project they were considering manufacturing and selling] — it looks like a light shade — because I know that if you will begin to get your mind going for Jesus, you may make a thousand errors, this thing may come nowhere. But, if you begin to move that way, God is going to be able to use you.
And loved ones, that’s what I feel called to do here in this place. I feel we should be an experimental place where you can come with the wildest idea and say, “Brother, what do you think of that?” And we say, “Oh yeah, let’s have a shot at it.” And where we can fall magnificently and still be loved, and keep on failing until something clicks that Jesus uses to touch millions of loved ones in India. That’s it! That’s what it’s all about.
But I don’t know how your life is, but if it’s like the lives of many Christians, your life is useless to God, because your mind is not in tune with your spirit. And your mind is something that you leave virtually unexercised. And I’d put it to you, would it not be true that most of us here in this room use our minds simply to do what the boss tells us to do, or to go through the job of work that we have each day, to type the letters, or to hit the old computer, or to talk to people as they come to the counter with enquiries? And then we maybe use our minds — though you can get into the car and go home virtually without using your mind, can’t you? And you can certainly – from then on you’re safe. You don’t need to use it at all. You can just find your way almost with your eyes closed to the table. You can get the old TV dinner into the oven. And so it goes on, and you really can go through many of your days without using your mind at all.
Now, that’s a shame! That’s a shame! That’s terrible! And yet, I do think – I think I know many of you, and I would suspect that many of us here do that in our jobs. We don’t use our minds at all. And in fact, if I put it to you, would it not be true that some of the hesitation that some of us have in going to Christian Corps training school is, we think, “The last time I memorized anything was in English class in senior high. My mind wouldn’t remember anything.” And isn’t that tragic?
I suppose the greatest number of us here are really probably 30 to 40, really. There are some ancient ones here, but 30 to 40. And really it’s terrible isn’t it? It’s tragic that so many of us are already old, isn’t it? Because the interesting thing is — do you know? — I happen to know who is the oldest person here. And you know, the oldest person here is the youngest person. I know that person. And that’s true, because, of course, age is not chronological. Age is when the person has gone to sleep inside — has died inside.
And loved ones, in a way I don’t blame you. I know our society kind of encourages it. I understand that. I agree with you. I agree. McDonalds does it by numbers so even — anybody could go into McDonalds, and you do it just by numbers. So anybody can make a hamburger in McDonalds. And most of our jobs are set up that way. We can just go through the motions without hardly thinking. So I agree, part of it is our society. But loved ones, we don’t need to stay under that! We don’t!
The Savior came into your life so that he could do something new through you. That’s it! You don’t need to build a sea shelter. You don’t need to start a campus church. You don’t need to do something that everybody notices, because that doesn’t matter. God doesn’t see those as important things at all. But Jesus has something different to do through you, something new. That’s it! He
Oh, somebody said, “Your life is a frame inside which God wants to paint a new picture of Jesus — a picture that the world has never seen.” Now, that’s it. That’s why Jesus has come into your life. And that’s why you’re precious.
And loved ones, if you don’t go on into this by using your mind and exercising it, and begin to make some moves for God, you really are going to die spiritually inside. And you’re going to petrify! And you’re going eventually to fossilize! You are! And you’re going to become what, I’ll tell you, puts the world off Jesus. I’ll tell you, because I know. I know what put me off Jesus: the miserable, boring, stereotyped people called Christians. That’s right. The miserable, boring, stereotype people called Christians who all babble the same little party line, who all sing the same way, all pray the same way, all act the same way, all are equally boring and sleepy! And that is it! That is it!
Jesus! Jesus is filled with life, filled with excitement, filled with new ventures, filled with risk, filled with trying new things, filled with doing things to bring his Father’s world under submission to his Father’s will. And that’s what you’re here to do, really.
And oh, I think of Kush [Kush Katri] in India, and I think of the little time I spent in India, a great continent with eight or nine hundred million loved ones who are under a bondage of passivity that is brought upon them by Hinduism and by Buddhism. And their society is in chaos because it is under the passivity of mind that we have talked about these Sundays. And Kush has shared with me that so often it’s impossible to get anything changed in India, because nobody thinks they can actually do anything about it, because underneath all so much of India – I shouldn’t talk too much like this because Hugh and Ruth [a couple who spent time as missionaries in India], and Kush are going to do it better next Sunday. But everything in India is under the terrible bondage that we are part of creation; creation is part of us; God is part of creation; and God is creation; and you can’t do anything about creation. It’s a fatalistic settled fact. If that river flowed that way for 100 years, it ought always flow that way. And we could never change its course. And if the dirt and filth in the Bombay streets have been there for centuries, they have to stay; we cannot change them.
But loved ones, do you see that happens from passivity of mind? You’re riding so often on the heritage of the dear ‘active Americans’ that operated from the days of the depression to maybe about the ’50s or ’60s, really. Loved ones, we’re living off that heritage. And I speak to you as a guy who saw ‘my’ country go down. Britain is simply about 30 or 40 years ahead of America in decline. And that’s exactly what came to us. We felt in Britain, “Well, the problems are massive. The electricians are fighting with the plumbers. They are having demarcation disputes. Nobody knows who has the right to screw that screw in the wall, and so we can’t do anything about it. We’ll just go on strike. Boy! Yeah! We should be able to do something about it, but we can’t. The thing is overcoming us.”
Now loved ones, that comes about from passivity of mind. It really does. And you may say to me, “Oh Pastor, listen. I know I live that kind of life in my job, but it’s a good livelihood. And I know I’m not extenuating myself too much, or stretching myself, but well, it seems to be the job for me.” Isn’t that tragic? Isn’t that tragic? That would be tragic even if you were 95. But isn’t that tragic at 20, or 30, or 40, to begin to think in that passive way, in that ‘give up’, ‘surrender’ way?
Loved ones, Jesus has come into you to be himself. And if you won’t let him be himself, he’ll get out of you. That’s it. But he’s not going to stay in you to be crucified afresh. If you will not get your mind into action with the Savior’s mind, and begin to use your life to achieve something new in this world, you’ll lose what you’ve got. You really will. And it doesn’t matter too much. If you are ‘eternal security’ – okay, then Nee says, “You’ll live as ‘if’ you’re a dead man.” If you’re not an ‘eternal security’ person, you’ll fall from grace. It doesn’t matter. The result is the same. Your life will have all the evidence of death in it, and all the evidence of a lack of energy and achievement. And it comes through that passivity of mind. It really does.
And I’d encourage your dear hearts to see — I don’t think the Savior is having difficulty getting you, here this evening, to receive him into your own hearts and even to get you to forsake some of your sins. But I think with many of us he’s up against an absolute concrete wall in this business of ‘our minds’. And we’re all so dumb. We think, “Ah, it doesn’t matter. As long as my spirit is alive; the mind leads you astray anyway.” But loved ones, the mind is the vital connection between your spirit and the rest of life itself.
And so when you think of going on tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, just because this is the way you’ve started, will you realize and remember that bit — isn’t it that bit — now I think of it as Two Roads,
“Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.”
You know that those pathetic words of Frost, as he looks at the two roads in the wood wondering which way he would travel and he says, “Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.” And then the glory of that,
“I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
And I would testify to that in my own life, and there were safer ways for me to go. And loved ones, the only thing that ‘safe ways’ bring you is boredom: Boredom, and depression, and dreadful disappointed with yourself at the end of life. So I would encourage you to exercise your minds and to be interested in the exercise of your minds. And you remember, we were sharing some of the signs of the old passivity of mind. And passivity is not simply not using your mind. The tragedy of passivity is you are letting evil spirits use it.
You remember, we shared them: Forgetfulness, where you can’t remember things; insomnia, where you can’t get to sleep; flashing thoughts, where constantly you’re bothered with thoughts that hop in and out of your mind that you don’t know where they come from — pictures that flash upon your mind that are horrible pictures that you wouldn’t dream of having yourself; tremendous inactivity where life begins to be too much for you, you just can’t get your mind to deal with the issues; tremendous difficulty with staying on one course; vacillation, you vacillate from this direction to that
direction. And those signs of passive minds are, I’m afraid, what many of us have seen in our own lives.
How can you be delivered from that? First of all, ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you’ve yielded ground. That’s the first thing. See, that doesn’t happen normally in your life. Your mind was meant to be active and exercised. Your mind was meant to be used by you. It was meant to be used by your spirit. So the first step is to say, “Holy Spirit, where have I yielded ground to Satan in regard to my mind? Will you show me?”
Now you need to see loved ones, that this will not be easy. If you have yielded any ground to Satan, it doesn’t mean that Satan has possessed you. And I shared that with you last day. If you have some memory failure that doesn’t mean, “Oh, I’m possessed by Satan.” But it does mean that Satan has got some kind of ‘obsession hold’ on part of your mind, and that he has managed to gain some ground there. And you should ask the Holy Spirit, “Holy Spirit, show me where I have yielded ground; how I have yielded ground.”
See the issue is not that you can tell, “Oh yeah, yeah! I’ve obviously yielded some ground in my memory. That’s simple.” No, that’s not the issue. How have you yielded that ground? Have you yielded that ground by believing Satan’s lie that actually it didn’t matter very much whether you used your memory or not, because the Holy Spirit would bring to your remembrance and you wouldn’t have to exercise your memory? Is it because you’ve yielded it in that way, in that lie? Have you for some reason believed that maybe memory is a very unspiritual thing, that actually you shouldn’t use your memory; because you might remember things that you shouldn’t remember, and you should just leave it up to some other power to use your memory? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you have yielded ground, that’s the first step in deliverance from passivity.
And then see that that will be opposed every inch of the way by the evil spirit that you have yielded ground to. Really! Don’t think that that will be simple. Don’t think that nobody is interested in this but you. The evil spirits that have in fact gained some ground in your mind will be very anxious not to let you see what ground you have yielded, and how you have yielded it. Now, that’s because – well you can look it up it’s in Ephesians 6:11. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” That’s why, because the devil is tricky. And he has wiles.
And we listen to that stuff and we say, “Oh yeah, but we’ll have no trouble. I mean, we’ll recognize the horns and the full forked tail. It doesn’t matter what trick he uses. He may put on a nice sheep’s coat, but we’ll see the tail sticking out the back.” Loved ones, ‘wiles’ means ‘wiles’! Satan is tricky. And his job is to deceive you and to prevent you seeing what ground you have yielded to Satan.
And old Nee [Watchman Nee in his book, “The Spiritual Man”] touches some of the things that we tend to do in regard to that. And he says you can deal with each one of those difficulties you have in a passive mind, and Satan has certain ways of deceiving you in them. “Those sudden beautiful thoughts of yours are from God.” “Yeah, don’t be concerned about flashing thoughts, because some of them are beautiful. And they’re from God.” I think a lot of us have got into real trouble with the gifts this way, because the next one he [Watchman Nee, quoting Satan] says, “Those flashing revelations are the fruits of spirituality.” And you see what he does. He tries to get you to believe, “No, flashing thoughts aren’t wrong. Those beautiful thoughts are revelations from God. And those flashing revelations that you get are the fruits of spirituality. They’re prophecies.”
Now loved ones, do you see that God’s task is to redeem us, and to redeem our whole beings so that our whole beings work naturally the way they were meant to work. But they work to please him. Now our normal lives don’t operate like that. I mean, you aren’t sitting at your desk typing away, and suddenly you get up and you say, “I have to go home.” You don’t. And you don’t see the bus driver driving down Nicollet [Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis], just stopping! Jumps out, and decides he has to go on vacation! Life doesn’t operate that way. Normal life doesn’t operate that way. And we have to believe that not all the bus driving systems in the world are satanic. We have to believe that the way we do things in this world is, more or less, God’s plan for an organized, natural, gradual kind of activity in his world.
Now, do you see that’s not the way we normally work: by flashing thoughts that we can’t understand. Indeed, don’t you think that the Father allows us to work naturally so that we will have confidence that what is happening is from him? And I mentioned to you Jesus’ words before, “I have not called you servants because a servant doesn’t know what his Lord is doing, but I have called you friends.” Implying, “I want you to understand what I’m doing.” You remember that famous statement in the Bible, “In understanding be mature.” Be mature in your understanding. “I want you to know why I’m doing things and what we’re doing together.”
But loved ones, Satan will attempt to suggest to you that those flashing thoughts are from God. Loved ones, they aren’t. I would repeat to you what we shared so many years ago, most of the things that come abruptly, most of the things that come suddenly into your mind, or into your life, are not of God. And if you push me on conversions, we all know that people like Paul — the conversion started way back when he started to look after the clothes of those who stoned Stephen. And most of us are the same, it doesn’t matter how suddenly the conversion appears, we know fine well that one of the reasons we have confidence in it, is that it is the outcome of a whole new direction that started in our lives some time ago. And indeed, that’s why we feel confident in it!
But one of Satan’s tricks is, “Those flashing thoughts are the fruits of spirituality.” [Reads from Nee, quoting Satan] “That bad memory is due to your ill health.” [Pastor paraphrases] “That’s it. Don’t worry about the bad memory; it’s due to your ill health.” And it’s easy to kill that one because it’s obviously God’s will that we should be well. But Satan knows how to trick us. [Reads from Nee, quoting Satan] “It is natural for you to become abruptly forgetful.” Well, it’s not. It’s not. But Satan will try to pull that one with you.
[Reads from Nee, quoting Satan] “Your over sensitiveness is because of your temperament.” I was convinced of that one. I mean, when you’re very sensitive, it’s just because you’re a very sensitive person. Well, forget it! Who was more sensitive than Jesus? And yet he wasn’t that hypersensitive to people who criticized him and tore him apart.
[Reads from Nee, quoting Satan] “Your weak memory is inherited.” “Well, my dad had a weak memory. My mom — yeah, we’re a pretty forgetful family.” Even if you are it’s Jesus’ great task to save us from that chain of what we inherited.
[Reads from Nee, quoting Satan] “Insomnia is an outgrowth of sickness. You are simply tired. You cannot think because you have worked too hard.” Well, do you realize that the mind is pretty well tireless? Do you know that? Your mind never gets tired. Your emotions weary, but your mind actually doesn’t get tired. Your mind can go on plowing continually hour, after hour. You only have to read those massive German theologians like Barth [Karl Barth, 1886 – 1968, Swiss theologian]
and Brunner [Emil Brunner, 1889 – 1966, Swiss theologian] to see they keep on plowing forever just like that and our minds are the same as theirs. But, “You worked too hard!”
[Reads from Nee, quoting Satan] “That incessant contemplation at night stems from your mind’s over exhaustion in the day time. Impure thoughts arise from your sins.” No, no, impure thoughts as they come in from your mind come from one source. [Reads from Nee, quoting Satan] “You already have fallen. You cannot listen to others because of your particular environment and because of their faults.”
First of all, deal with any natural causes. First, “Holy Spirit, what ground have I yielded.” He shows you. Say it’s insomnia, “Alright, let me get enough sleep. Let me make sure I get enough sleep. Let me make sure I don’t wear myself out over much during the day. Let me make sure I’m eating right. Let me make sure I’m exercising right.” Then if you still have trouble with insomnia you know what the cause is. And do that, you see, with each one. Separate the natural causes from the possibility of satanic causes, and then go before the Holy Spirit and ask him to show you plainly what ground has been yielded.
Now, I thought I’d read this piece directly, because it seems to me so important and none of us ‘saintly’ people would believe that we would do it. One of the other reasons why many of us have trouble receiving from God what ‘ground we have yielded’ is this: [Reads from Nee] “For the sake of saving face, or for some other reason, the Christian refuses to believe his mind could possibly be occupied by the devil and objects to hearing anything about him or his works. Such distaste of examination for fear that he may lose his spiritual experience is a great hindrance to deliverance.” I would say that humbly and respectfully to anybody who is in that situation. Do you see that Satan can deceive us into that? That some of us actually do like the flashing thoughts, or we like the sudden revelations, and actually we will not admit it, but we’ve begun to like some of the deceptive spirituality that is being fed to us by Satan. And we don’t want to lose our spiritual experience. And so we resist this kind of examination.
[Reads from Nee] “He may retort in any one of a number of ways, ‘I don’t need deliverance. Why should I want to be delivered?’ Or, ‘I have overcome through Christ. He has overcome Satan already so now I need pay no attention to him but just leave him to God. I focus my attention on Christ,’ or, ‘I know nothing about satanic matters.’ Or, ‘I concentrate on preaching the gospel, why should I notice Satan?’ With these or many other responses, the believer dismisses the actions of the evil spirits in him. And to those who try to help him he may even say, ‘Alright, you resist for me and pray for me.’ He is not speaking with sincerity, he merely desires to live in ease and let others sweat out deliverance for him.”
Could I encourage your hearts to see if there are any signs of passive minds in your life, open yourself to the Holy Spirit? Don’t defend yourself. So maybe you are the greatest thing that ever walked. Maybe you are. Maybe you’re perfect in every other way. Nobody is arguing that. But the facts are so good. God’s dear word is so good. He delivers us from things by the facts of his word. And loved ones, if you find any of the signs of a passive mind inside you, don’t argue, don’t defend, don’t side with Satan, don’t pretend. Just say, “Holy Spirit, it looks to me as if there’s something, some ground I have yielded here to Satan. Now will you show me?”
All I want to deal with very fast is one ground, one type of ground. And then in the following Sundays, some other types of ground. One type of ground: an unrenewed mind. An unrenewed mind! How do you get deliverance from that?
The first is Romans 6:6. You stand on that ground. “We know that our old self was crucified with Christ.” “Lord Jesus, I know you died for me and I know I died with you. I, Ernest O’Neill, died with you. My mind, whether it could do algebra, whether it could do analytical geometry, whether it knew Greek, whatever it did, my mind was crucified with you. And I was crucified with you. And I was wiped out on Calvary. And Lord, I thank you for that, and I’m willing for every inch to be wiped out.”
That’s the first step loved ones. Unless you take that position of faith the Holy Spirit can do no more for you in renewing your mind, because the basis of the possibility of your mind being renewed does not depend on your own will power, or the exercise of your own mind. It depends on the mighty fact that — believe it or not — your mind was renewed; that when you were crucified with Christ all things passed away and all things became new; that God made you pristine, and new, and fresh like a little baby from his hands.
And oh, that happened to me this morning. Why? Oh, that happens to me at least every day, but sometimes two or three times a day, when I see again that this miserable creature was crucified with Jesus, and he’s dead and gone, buried in the tomb, and there’s a new fellow with this man’s name has just come down this minute from heaven in the hands of the Holy Spirit. And that’s – I’ll tell you that’s still exciting to me. Every time it happens, it’s exciting. Every time it happens it lifts you off the earth, lifts you out of your miserable old self. It lifts you into a realm where God is.
Loved ones, that’s the first basis of the renewal of the mind. And do you see you have to be willing for it? Do you see that? You have to be willing. You have to be willing that all that you have, good and bad, had to be destroyed in Jesus, and you had to be remade completely. Do you see, you have to be willing? If you’re not willing you can’t have faith for it. You see, that’s false. Moses could only have faith for the water’s to open up if he was willing to move into those places. You have to be willing to move in. But that’s the first basis, faith in Romans 6:6. That is ‘believing ground’. That is changing ground. That is renewal ground.
Now, if I could say this for the next four hours I would do it. I would get each one of you and jump on your chest, up and down and say, “This is true! You were destroyed and remade in Jesus. You were! You were! There’s a new you that is remade in Jesus, and can come down to you this moment.” Why? Because since I started that sentence things have happened that need to be renewed, and that I can see can be changed. And so second-by-second that eternal miracle of Jesus’ death and resurrection is made real in you. Every time glory! Every time you exercise faith in it and believe it, it’s a miracle.
Now, that’s the first step. The second step is what you do in the light of that. And you’ll see that loved ones, in Ephesians — and this is just coming to the end now tonight, because certain things, you see, follow from that. Ephesians 4:22 — first of all Romans 6:6 and then since this has happened — oh then, “Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Now do you see that Verse 22 is just an insult and a jeer unless we were actually crucified with Christ and renewed? You see, verse 22 involves the “Power of Positive Thinking”, “How to Win by Intimidation,” and all the other books that tell us how to control our minds. That’s what verse 22
means, unless God has actually already changed us in Jesus! And then it’s simply a matter of ‘putting off’ – you’re ‘putting off’ what is already been ‘put off’. Already God has changed you, has given you a clean new mind! Now you are free to think what you want to think! But if that miracle hasn’t happened, you’re worn out. I mean, you’re trying to move against a dirty, filthy mind that will not change. But if in fact your mind has been changed, and you believe it has in Christ, then it’s simply a matter from then on ‘putting it off’. You ‘put off’ the old nature.
You remember what the other verse says, “Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling for it is God who worketh in you.” And Oswald Chambers says, “That’s it, God works the salvation in you, and you just work it out. You allow it to express itself through your whole being.” And that’s the situation here, you see. And how do you do this? How do you? You see verse 23, “And be renewed in the spirit of your minds.” How does that happen? Oh, verse 25, “Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”
Start speaking truth. Why do you not speak truth? Because, you want to keep things in control. And you think they’re going to get out of control if the truth is spoken. But if you can tell a lie here, you can kind of move this thing around and work an ‘angle’. Unless you’re dead! I mean, if you’re dead — you never saw a dead man work ‘angles’. And that’s the heart of it, you see. If you were crucified with Christ what’s the point in working ‘angles’? What does it matter if they think badly of you? What does it matter if you lose your job even? You’re in the hands of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is in control of your life, so there’s no longer any reason for lying. There’s nothing to defend. There’s nothing that’s worth defending. You’ve already agreed with that when you allowed it to be destroyed with Jesus.
So, “Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” Be angry, be indignant against things that oppose God, but do not sin by being bad tempered for your own benefit, or for your own sake. And that’s the difference between anger that is ‘right’, as Jesus was in the temple, and anger that is wrong. Anger that is ‘right’ is anger on behalf of God’s cause and is a controlled reaction against wrong. Anger that is evil is that bad tempered, losing control of yourself, because you’re being hurt. “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal.” Don’t steal. Don’t steal time from your employer, don’t steal from the IRS, “But rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths.”
Clean up your mouths. That’s what renewing your mind means. It means make your mind as clean as the mind that you have which is Jesus’ mind.