Loving God with all your mind: “Deepening the Faith” devotional 1
This installment is part of a regular devotional series, “Deepening the Faith,” written by Gordon faculty and staff for the enrichment of the wider College community.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. —Luke 10:27
In this passage of Luke, Jesus is clearly teaching that, to love him, we must engage our whole being—one portion of us cannot be separated from another in our relationship with the Lord. So what does it actually look like to love the Lord with all of our mind?
In the world of the academy, many suggest that you are what you know—your level of expertise determines your success and how your colleagues and peers view you. It’s a continual stream of pressure to master and create new knowledge, to be the expert. However, that often leads to loving things of the world with all of our mind, rather than loving the Lord. We become distracted with the praise of our colleagues or our teachers, and we might fall short of the larger purpose. Though our relationship with the Lord involves actively asking questions, thinking deeply and seeking the one who knows the answers, this pursuit is not just to gain the knowledge. Instead, the purpose of this pursuit is to better know the one who created our minds.
This requires asking the hard questions directed at ourselves. At the root of all our activity, all of our striving, all of our plans, all of our work: Who or what is the object around which we orient our lives?
When we think about who or what occupies our thoughts most of the time, we see where our focus lies. As written in Scripture, we are to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17), to think about what is true (Philippians 4:8) and to meditate on God’s word day and night (Psalm 1:2). When we worry about our work, live in fear or fret about our loved ones and the future, we are not thinking about what we know as true. We have been freed from the bondage of fear because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Loving God with all of our mind entails the pursuit of truth and asking the questions that help us arrive at truth, which is fully revealed in Jesus Christ. John 1:14 describes Jesus as being “full of grace and truth,” so pursuing truth is a part of pursuing Christ.
In the context of our work at Gordon, we are seeking answers to important questions. We research, study and learn from those who know more than we do because we possess an innate desire to learn and understand. This same desire must carry over into our faith by asking questions and seeking to know the Lord deeper by studying, researching, learning and experiencing the Lord through every part of our being.
But as Anselm put it, we pursue a posture of faith seeking understanding—not the other way around. To fully understand where our focus lies and to love God with all of our soul, strength and mind, we must ask ourselves, “Who’s on my mind most of the time?”
D. Michael Lindsay
Michael Lindsay serves as the eighth president of Gordon College. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University and graduate theological degrees from Wycliffe Hall at Oxford University and Princeton Theological Seminary. He is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Baylor University where he has been named Outstanding Young Alumnus. The author of two dozen scholarly publications, President Lindsay’s Faith in the Halls of Power was nominated for the nonfiction Pulitzer Prize in 2007. His most recent book, View from the Top, won two awards and has been translated into Chinese and Japanese. As a scholar and educational leader, President Lindsay has lectured on five continents and works tirelessly to create opportunities worldwide for Gordon students, faculty and staff.