Patricia Hofer

God’s gift of consciousness

As Paul tells us in Romans, to “live in accordance with the Spirit” we must set our minds on “what the spirit desires.” He then continues on to describe an understanding I’ve also found to be essential in Christian believing. Paul writes that “the mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (NIV 8:5, 7).

The brain, the “mind governed by the flesh,” is not capable of abandoning the self-centered, survival instincts that have evolved over millennia. But our human individuality is not contained in brain waves but, rather, in God’s gift of higher consciousness, in “the mind governed by the Spirit” (NIV Rom. 8:6).

Within this gift of inspired consciousness, the Spirit of Christ is always speaking to us, encouraging us to purer deeds and kinder motives. We are either listening, opening ourselves to this higher region of inspired thought, or we are not. That is the basic choice that underlies all choices.

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