Action-Oriented Thinking

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 1:13-21

Therefore prepare your minds for action . . . ! (v. 13 NRSV)

Something doesn't seem right in verse 13: “Prepare your minds for action . . .”? Minds think! Bodies act. Not the other way around. Isn't that right? Apparently not for Peter! Lurking beneath Peter's conviction is something he learned in the company of Jesus, namely, the joining together of hagadah and halachah. I'm pretty certain that for most of us that isn't very helpful. So let me explain. Hagadah is the Hebrew word for meditation: thinking deeply and carefully about some aspect of God's character revealed in Scripture. Halachah, which literally means “to walk,” refers to the necessary and practical actions that ought to follow from our contemplation. To think deeply on the things of God (hagadah) and then choose not to act on them (halachah) is irrelevance. Peter is calling us to act on our convictions!

Peter had heard this forcefully from Jesus on the night that he was betrayed. Remember what Jesus did the night the disciples were gathered around the Passover table with him? He did for them what they should have done for him but didn't: he took a towel and basin and washed their feet. When he finished he said to them, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:17). There is an old Sunday school song that ends this way: “I love Thee, I love Thee, and that Thou dost know; / But how much I love Thee my actions will show.”


Lord, help us prepare our minds for action, and bless us as we do your will.