Friday, November 25, 2016

Start your day right – with a good gird

Each day ought to begin with a good gird. That's right. Girding is a great way to start your day. Not many people know it, because we don't use that word much, and modern translators of the Bible prefer to use descriptions of that word rather than the word itself, even though the Greek New Testament clearly says, "Gird."

In 1 Peter, the Apostle Peter has just explained how wonderfully God arranged for the grace and salvation of Jesus to be revealed to us through the prophets, and then he reaches this climatic application: "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13, NKJV). There it is: "Gird up the loins of your mind." Peter used Greek words for gird and loins, but hardly any English translations do, and that's because hardly anyone knows what such a phrase means anymore! But they're such descriptive and illustrative words that explain so much more than how they're commonly translated: "prepare your minds for action".

To gird (a very fun word to repeat out loud, by the way) means "to encircle or bind with a belt or band", and to gird up one's loins was like a man in Biblical times having to pull up his robe and tie it with a belt to prepare himself to run or to work. I saw men do this very thing with their robes in Sudan when we were working in the desert. So this is what Peter instructs us to do with our minds after we have received the salvation that was revealed to us: gird up the loins of your mind so that we can live our new lives in Christ in all the ways we are meant to (which Peter then goes on to describe).

But with what? With what should we gird up the loins of our mind? What comes to mind is that we might use Paul's "belt of truth" (Ephesians 6:14), but that's another context, and this is Peter's letter, not Paul's, so we ought to look to Peter's context to see how we're to prepare our minds for action (though I'm sure Peter wouldn't object to anyone using the belt of truth). Peter's context suggests that the grace of God be what we use. He says to "rest your hope fully upon the grace that is brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." In other words, put your hope totally in the great grace that we receive when we see and recognize Jesus for who He is in every situation. 

That is how we prepare our mind – each and every day – for whatever God has planned for us. That is how we gird up the loins of our mind so that nothing will take us out of action. We're ready. Our mind and our thoughts are completely encircled and bound up in the hope we have in the great grace we find in Jesus! Hope in the grace of God to see us through. Fill your thoughts with that. Gird your mind with it!

So then, why don't we begin each day with a good gird? After all, it's fun to say, and girding the loins of your mind so that our hope is totally and decisively focused on the grace we see and know in Jesus is truly the best way to start a day!

© 2016 by Ken Peters

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