(1 Peter 1:13) “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
The scriptures instruct us to gird up the loins of our minds. what does that mean and more importantly, what does that look like? This girding up of a skirt in the days of christ meant tying up your apparel that one may fight or run whether one be in battle or if one was in haste to take a journey so that the skirt would not fall to the ground and trip him up that he stumble. I suppose from this carnal illustration Peter was trying to convey a spiritual meaning to the “girding up” of ones mind and that the girding up of the mind in spirit was similar to the girding up of the loins except the robe represented a thing that could stop you from your spiritual fight or spiritual journey whatever that carnal stumbling block could be. in the mathematical equivalence to explaining this would look something like this; 4 multiplied by Y = 12 but in a spiritual sense the problem would look like this; girding up Y = that a man is ready to run or do battle and become valiant in flight! Y would be the equivalent to any carnal thing that is hindering you from that journey or battle. and the verse implies that your mind has loins and those loins if they are not girded up do not benefit the soul because the loins of your mind is naturally a stumbling block and does not allow you to freely run or battle.
Thus i have come to the conclusion that one must seek a remedy for this problem. The problem is that every mans “Y” differs because some men have mastered some carnal thing but are weak in another aspect. how can one see clearly in recognising those things that benefit a mans soul. how can we approach this Girding up. what does that look like in real time? We understand that every idle thing a man says will come into judgment and we understand that those things that come forth out of a mans mouth are drawn from his heart and it is one unit of measurement in weighing the spirit so that you man discern your own heart or the hearts of others if your mind is in tune to be exercised in spiritual matters. But this verse doesn’t instruct us to gird up the loins of our heart, it speaks on things concerning our thoughts which is a key issue here.
in thinking of this verse a bible verse comes into remembrance;
(Philippians 4:8) “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
This is an Excellent bible verse but the problem is, that to a man spiritually dull in hearing like myself it is hard to know specifically what those “true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good reported things and those things that have virtue” are as pertaining to the specifics of these things, or is there? On thinking on these matters for many days, meditating day and night and constantly searching the scriptures every hour and being pricked in the heart days earlier wanting to inquire about these things remembering that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him i did indeed inquire into them so that i may, to the end be made perfect and upright in heart if God has mercy on my many and frequent carnal faults.
so my inquiry was to know what was in fact true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report and things that have virtue combined with how many of those things are beneficial to the soul so that a man may run or battle with his loins girded?
Are all things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report and things that have virtue beneficial or whats the deal here? How can i be grave and of a sober mind if i don’t understand the things i must be mindful of or the mechanics of those things, that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report and things that have virtue? These lists of words in Phillippians are only the characteristics of those things and are not the things themselves. One would have to know what those actual things are in order to think on them rather than only knowing the characteristics of them. Luckily, the Letter to the Philippians is not the only book in the bible. so thus my search continued and as i searched came into remembrance of this passage;
(2 Corinthians 5) “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
Again, in this verse the scripture tells you what to do (examine myself) but it does not tell you how to do this. Was i to make a checklist like a school exam and if i checked off all the boxes and most of them fell in the category of faith then that would conclude my test and i would know under examination weather i was in the faith or not? Of course NOT!! This ignorance of knowing how to implement this examination was a problem and very troubling to me because i am not the sharpest tool in the shed. So i started to meditated on this day and night looking up the definition of the word “Examine” which i found to mean “scrutinize” making the scripture read; scrutinize yourselves weather ye be in the faith which made more sense to me by far! OK! finally I’m getting somewhere here! now that i found an unmovable foundation i can start building since i knew what those things that i would choose to scrutinize myself with were thus now i had found a substance of spiritual foundation to build on and BINGO everything was falling into place! yay! now this is a serious matter and worthy to be looked at under a microscope. the question now became “what would be the standard that i would use to scrutinize myself with?” My conclusion (love) catapulted me straight to a specific scripture;
(1 Corinthians 13:4) “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
And there i had it, in my face. The list i was looking for! This thing opened up like a soda pop that had just been shaken! My conclusion is that this list (not limited to) are the loins of our mind that we must gird up if in our examination we found traces of.
we must ask ourselves. Do i…….
1. suffer long (or not, if not GIRD IT UP)
2. Have shown kindness (contrast would be unkind! GIRD IT UP)
3.envy (If so then GIRD IT UP)
4. vaunteth myself (If so then GIRD IT UP)
5. am i puffed up (If so then GIRD IT UP)
6. behave myself unseemly (If so then GIRD IT UP)
7. seeketh my own (If so then GIRD IT UP)
8. am easily provoked (If so then GIRD IT UP)
9. thinketh evil. (If so then GIRD IT UP)
10. Rejoiceth in iniquity? (If so then GIRD IT UP)
Do I rejoiceth in the truth? Beareth all things? believe all things? hope all things? endureth all things? (Good fruit aka lovely things)
The second that you become forgetful of these things or count them as unimportant is the day that you will fall into them! That is why a man should not forsake the assembly, that everyone should remind our forgetful minds of the importance of these matters lest we forget and be condemned (James 1:25)
Is not charity the end of all matters? consider the verse;
(Colossians 3:14) “And above all these things put on charity which is the bond of perfectness.”
At first glance the word examine seemed to be a task that a man should complete but after further examination of the word and the definition of it, i concluded that it is a thing a man should take into practice daily and that it should be a tool for everyday use rather then a test you take once a year or every time you so happen to come across this verse.
(1 Corinthians 13:4) Not only breaks down in fine detail to explain what charity is, it also breaks down what it is NOT in a couple verses prior! I have concluded that those things which are described in (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) are NOT charity itself but are still categorized under those things which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report and those things that have virtue. consider the verse;
(1 Corinthians 13:1-3) “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
Again, we find a list;
1. Speaking in tongues
2. gift of prophecy (which is to be coveted)
3. The understanding of all mysteries
6. Feeding the poor (a commandment from Jesus)
7. give my body as a living sacrifice (a reasonable service)
Thus; all things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report and things that have virtue are NOT all beneficial IF not coupled with Charity
Thus by exercising this tool of examining ourselves we may stay vigilant and have a clear understanding of what we need to do to gird up our minds as the scripture instructs “gird up the loins of your mind”
that we may abound in the work of the Lord;
(1 Corinthians 15:58) “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
We must abound in the work of the lord that our thoughts may be established;
(Proverbs 16:3) “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
And if our thoughts be established then our words will also be a sweet savor and aid our souls in bearing fruit to perfection. Thank God for Jesus Christ that he works in us to will and to do of his will! Amen.