“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” is a series of church worker wellness devotions. Visit lcms.org/wellness for more resources.

by Mark Matzke, pastor

Thinking about Thinking

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6).

Holy Scripture encourages human beings to think.

We have been given a unique gift. It’s been said human beings are the only creatures on earth that can think about thinking.

The fruit tree doesn’t stand in the field and say, “Hmm, maybe I ought to push out an apple or two.”

The tiger doesn’t have a committee meeting to discuss best hunting practices.

Only humans have the ability to be self-reflective, to think carefully about our own behavior and beliefs.

And that can lead us in some intriguing directions, as well as down some rabbit trails.

For example, those who spend a lot of time thinking about thinking will tell you there are different styles or modes of thinking, such as concrete, convergent, divergent, creative, analytical, linear and holistic.

That’s pretty abstract (which is also a mode of thinking), so I took a few online quizzes to find out what kind of thinker I am.

The most interesting of the bunch told me I was a visionary, meaning that I’m most interested in the big picture, leaving the details for other people to figure out.

Are such quizzes accurate? Well, maybe some more than others.

But the point is this: all these results allegedly describe the thoughts going on in one person.


Human beings have the privilege of self-reflection, but it behooves us to use that privilege wisely.

In other words, what we think about, and how much we think about it, has a huge impact on how we move out into life, or if we move out into it at all.

God has created us to be thinking creatures.

He never asks us to “check our brains at the door.” He wants us to use our minds in a variety of ways, including, and maybe especially, in our relationship with Him.

From Phil. 4:8:

“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.”

By God’s own description, it is good for us to contemplate things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise.

Of course, all those things could be said about Him as our Savior, first and foremost!

But Paul says, “whatever.”

You are not limited. God gives us so much in this life to contemplate to His glory!

So we can get on to the thinking about thinking.

With what commendable and lovely things will you fill your mind today?

We praise Him in His work in our lives and all He has done for us.

May He bring life to you, through the Spirit and the thoughts He directs you to today.

Mark Matzke is senior pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Chesterland, Ohio.

“Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker” devotions and prayers will be released Monday mornings on the LCMS Facebook and Twitter pages. Church Worker Wellness devotions will also be archived online.

LCMS church workers and their families are invited to offer encouragement to other workers and families by submitting a 500-word devotion for the Synod’s worker-to-worker wellness devotion series. Email questions and submissions to workerwellness@lcms.org.