“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.”
gird up the loins of your mind
“Gird up” is an oriental assertion. It refers to folding up of the long, loose robes worn by people of Palestine at the time of writing First Peter. It means to bind up or gird up the long oriental robes to facilitate work or walking.
If someone on that day wanted to run, he had to tuck his long robes in a broad belt around his waist. Otherwise, it would impede his speed. It was also challenging to work with long robes.
The idea in this verse is “to gird up one’s loins” for travel, work, or battle. The thought is that of vigilant readiness. This is an admonition to be ready and watchful. It is an idiom meaning to bind up the loins of the mind, to prepare oneself for learning and thinking. This is to get one’s mind ready for action, to be prepared to learn, and to think, to be alert.
Our idiom today would be “pull yourselves together.” Pull out of the way anything that impedes free action of the mind. If we harbor hate in our minds, this will hamper our progress in the Christian life.
Peter uses “gird up” for the alertness necessary for sobriety and for setting one’s hope perfectly on “the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
God wants us to roll up the sleeves of our minds.
Many people become so engrossed in the affairs of this life that they neglect their spiritual life. They envelop their state of mind with worry and anxiety. Thus their thinking thrusts them into uncertainty. This verse shows us how to deal with impending misfortune and disaster.
We will never put anxiety out of our minds by subjective thinking. We will never change a thing in the world by fear and wishing. If we beset our minds with problems, we will create an artificial world of our own making. We cannot elude an earthquake by fear.
A mentally healthy person is someone who is objective. He can see the problem as it is, not as it might be. He does not say, “Well, you don’t know my problems. My children are impossible. Everything I do fails.” Someone else may say, “You don’t know the situation at my job. The boss will fire me if I don’t come through.” Again, “That next-door neighbor! You have never seen such a witch! She spreads such nasty, baseless rumors about me. How can I help but worry about that?”
We live in an environment of many conflicts. We can react to everything that happens either negatively or positively. We can face the problem or worry about it. Which will it be? Once we come to grips with the problem, once we tackle the problem, then the solution will ensue.
We must remove hindrances before we can serve Jesus Christ. When Olympic athletes prepare for a race, they wear clothes that will not impede their movement. If we are going to run in the Olympics, we do not run with street clothes! We must put off every weight (Hebrews 12:1,2).