God calls His children to live holy lives. Yet in our attempts to obey this command, we often commit to change our behavior, only to fail a few days later. The problem is that we’re starting at the wrong place. Ungodly actions flow from sinful thoughts and attitudes, like selfishness, greed, jealousy, anger, resentment, and unforgiveness. These can be changed only as our mind is renewed by the Holy Spirit. As we spend time each day in Scripture, the Spirit transforms our mind and strengthens our inner being. But when we neglect God’s Word, we leave ourselves open to the influence of the world and our “flesh,” both of which oppose godliness. Then, if we try to change our behavior without adjusting our thinking, we’ll find ourselves doing precisely what we want to avoid (Romans 7:15). Holiness, on the other hand, encompasses our entire being, which is why Jesus said we should love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength (Mark 12:30). It’s a lifelong process that requires learning God’s thoughts and adopting them as our own. Then, as the Spirit develops within us the mind of Christ, our actions will become increasingly holy.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June 9, 2022.