The Mindset that Develops Purity of Heart

When I was a student at OBU, a friend and I came to Hot Springs and decided to go to the movies. Now, I’ve never been a fan of horror movies, and have never made it through one. For those of you who know me, you know that I can actually embarrass people who sit beside me during an action packed scene at the theatre. I get pretty involved if there’s an intense scene and have been known to get a little loud.

Well, maybe a lot loud. Like Screaming.

When my friend talked me into going to this particular movie, I thought I could just close my eyes during the scary parts, but that didn’t really work. The entire movie was spiritually dark and sinister, it gave me a sick feeling. I had to leave the theatre only a half hour into it, and it wasn’t long til my friend joined me in the lobby. We headed back to OBU and I spent most of the ride, praying. I felt like I needed to take a bath to get rid of the evil that invaded my mind through the previews and the first bit of that movie.

Purity of heart is affected by what enters our minds and by what our minds dwell on; that’s why it’s important to develop a “sophron” mind, one that is transformed by the renewal that the Word of God brings.

“It is the Word that will restrain your flesh, renew your mind, strengthen your resolve, and give you an appetite for those things that bring God pleasure.” (Adorned p. 172)

If you have your notes from Week 3, you might refer back to what we said about being “Sophron.” But remember that the word “Sophron” means:

Sensible, Self-Controlled: (Greek: σώφρων [so’-frone] sóphrón): of a sound mind, to have healthy thinking that curbs impulsive desires. It is to be prudent, wise—this character trait seems to have more to do with the outlook of the mind that enables one to make wise decisions, rather than just curbing sensual desires or practicing self-control.

It is making decisions that are driven by wisdom rather than emotion.

The “sophron” woman uses her knowledge of the Word of God to apply it practically to the demands of daily life in order to live life to God’s glory.

Nancy refers to this word as being similar to applying car brakes. “If you’re headed down a steep mountain incline or zipping along on the freeway when a truck pulls in front of you, you want to know that your brakes work. If they don’t you’re going to be in trouble.”

On page 165, she says: If you don’t have a self-controlled mind (sophron mindset),

  • You won’t be able to love your husband when he’s not loveable.
  • You won’t be able to love and care for your children or family responsibilities without resentment.
  • You won’t be able to sustain purity in your habits and relationships.

There is a helpful chart on pages 170–171 of Adorned or you can print it off from and refer to it often. It provides a helpful contrast to what it looks like when either our emotions are driving us off a cliff, or in contrast to that, if we’re a “sophron” woman having wisdom governing our decisions through a sound mind.

If we desire purity of hearts, we must begin with what our minds dwell on. What’s filling your mind will take root in your heart.

[box]Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8).[/box]

What’s on your mind today?