Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
  • Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
  • Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner
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    Soul Rythem

    Righteous Mind with Rev. Cynthia T. Turner

    One of the best lines in the movie The Great Debaters is when a Wiley College professor, played by actor Denzel Washington, introduces himself to three anxious and unsure debate students by telling them his role is to help them “to find, take back and keep their righteous mind.” He reminds the students that the slavemasters’ most effective line of attack was not through controlling the body, but to take the mind.

    And it’s true. What we believe determines what we do. Believing you can’t means you won’t. Believing it’s impossible means it is, at least to you. Believing the marriage cannot be salvaged, or the child is incorrigible, or the student is unteachable, or the job is unworkable is already a confession and admission of defeat.

    But it does not have to be that way. Nothing can so get us through a crisis and set us on the path toward triumph better than a fresh perspective based on truth and righteousness. Like the time when Gail Devers determined in 1990, despite bad medical diagnoses, that she would run again. Less than 17 months after the doctors had considered amputating her feet, she went on to win her first gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, in 1992, and was named the fastest woman in the world. She later said: “But I wasn’t going to give up. The word ‘quit’ has never been a part of my vocabulary. With lots of hard work, determination, perseverance and faith in God, I was able to resume training and regain my health.”

    Each crisis brings with it a call to new understandings. It requires that we protest and dig deeper, way past the easy answers we publicly accept to unearth deep-set truths that lets us know that what looks like the end does not necessarily have to be.

    A righteous mind does not mean we have all the answers; it means we recognize that these lives we live are wholly unintelligible without a belief that sees life through the lens of a Savior who came, lived, died and rose again to show us that that every ending has the potential for new beginning.


    Each Friday during Lent, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia T. Turner, pastor of the Dayspring Community Church in Lanham, MD, will write about the “Righteous Mind” on the Soul Rhythms blog. Click here to read other pieces by Rev. Turner.

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