How to Become a Large Tree
Truth is a powerful thing. So is falsehood. If you think on truth it will free. If you think on falsehood it will enslave. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
But not just any truth. It must be large and hopeful truth. There is ugly, little-minded truth—like: “He hurt me yesterday.” And there is beautiful, large-minded truth—like: “Christ committed no sin; when he was reviled, he did not revile in return.”
One kind of truth—the shriveled kind—is the kind of truth Satan uses to cloak his lies. The other kind of truth—expansive with grace—is the dwelling place of the Spirit.
If you direct your mind to the truth that is small, trivial and petty, you will feel justified. You will say, “After all, it is true! That's what he really said about me! That's what really happened. Truth is of God! It would be an injustice to ignore the facts.”
And day after day your soul shrinks to the size of the truth you have chosen to think about. Soon you will be incapable to think or feel anything great. All will be puny. It will feel big to you—big enough to fill your shriveling soul day and night.
How sad, for a person created in the image of God! The prostitution of the mind is a great evil. There is magnificent truth, designed for our meditation and the enlargement of our soul.
Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:2-3)
Those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)
Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
What are you mulling over these days? What does your mind return to again and again? Do you have a mental addiction to the world? Break it. It isn't big enough. It has no future.
All flesh is like grass and its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls . . .
Oh yes, grass is real. Grass is true. You can think about this “truth” all day and night if you wish. But your thoughts will do what grass does in October.
But the word of the Lord abides forever.
It is like the everlasting mountains, the unsearchable deeps, the endless heavens. This, too, you can think about day and night.
How broad your branches would grow! How high they would reach toward the sun! How full your fruit would be! How strong your trunk! How many nations might be healed beneath the shade of your cool, expanding shade!
Is there any habit of thought you would resolve to change right now?
Meeting you where lives are hid in God,
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org