THE VAIN MIND
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart, Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”
Vain is mataites (mat-ah-yot’-ace) in Greek. It means disappointing misery. In 1 Peter 1:18, there is a reference to vain conversations. The phrase means empty and/or manipulative.
TALK THE TALK BUT CAN’T WALK THE WALK
In Galatians 5:26, vain glory means vain-minded. It refers to a person who knows how or who attempts to achieve unfounded respect and by his actions demonstrates big talk, boasting and ambition. It is characteristic of people who are always going to do something, but who never do.
Nebuchadnezzar epitomized the vain-minded. This Gentile monarch captured Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the Temple. He carried Israel into Babylon as slaves, established golden images for them to worship, and cast three Hebrew youth into a fiery furnace when they refused to worship. He was drunk with pride. However, his pride drove him out of his mind. He was separated from men, grazed in the fields eating grass like the oxen; the hair on his body grew like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws (Daniel 5:33).
Esau was the eldest son of Isaac and the twin brother of Jacob. His biography provides us with one of the most tragic histories of men of the Bible. As the elder son of his father, even though he came from the womb only a half-hour before his twin brother Jacob, he was entitled by law and custom to inherit twice as much as the younger son’s portion as well as the headship of the family. However, we all know the story of how, for a mess of pottage, he betrayed away his spiritual and temporal birthright. He sold his
birthright because he despised it. A vain mind will cause a person to part with the rich blessings to which he or she is an heir.
POTENTIAL ADDICTIONS – THE INSTANT MILLIONAIRE
The vain-minded person would have a propensity for sexual addictions and rescuing behaviour. He/she will also have a problem overestimating personal worth. The vain-minded person will often price himself out of the job market because he thinks he is worth more than he actually is. If you could buy him for what he is worth and sell him for what he thinks he is worth, you could become an instant millionaire.
DR KRIGE AND HOUSE REGENERATION
This adapted content was extracted from A Biblical Approach to Psychotherapy authored by Dr Ado Krige, the Founding Director of House Regeneration, a South African drug rehabilitation centre offering a comprehensive discipleship training program. By applying principles of Biblical Therapy, using the Scriptures to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness, House Regeneration counsellors show anyone who has suffered from addiction how to fully understand why they do what they do and how to bring their belief systems in line with the Word of God.