The Fleshly Mind

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility….vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind (Col. 2:18 KJV).

The fleshly mind image of a woman that is thinking

God created the mind to be the propeller of man’s life on the earth. It is the locomotive that drives our decisions, actions, attitudes, and speech. The mind is regarded negatively by many believers, however, the mind itself is not evil. Every man, even the believer led by the Spirit, needs the mind to live on the earth.

One of the many tragedies of the fall of man is the corruption of the mind, ultimately resulting from the disconnect of the spirit’s control. The mind lost all knowledge and faculties of the spirit. Consequently, instead of being led by our spirit, our mind became a slave to the natural world. This is called the fleshly, or carnal mind. It is the mind that says there is no God. It is the mind that will satisfy the cravings of the body, even if it means displeasing God. It is the mind that doesn’t really bother about pleasing God in the first place.

The carnal life is the product of the carnal mind. The spiritual life is the product of the spiritual mind. The transition from the carnal to the spiritual, is what scripture calls “renewing” the mind. Renewing the mind is not eradicating, or suppressing the mind. A renewed mind has transformed from the natural, ordinary, fleshly mind, to the spiritual mind of Christ.

Until the mind is renewed by the Word, our words and actions will always reveal our carnal nature. The carnal mind cannot produce spiritual fruit. The life of the Spirit requires the mind of the Spirit.


Meditation is the cornerstone of renewing the mind, because it engages the mind in the Word. God’s Word by itself is sufficient to renew your mind, so set your mind firmly on the Bible.


The first step is self-evaluation. What kind of mind drives your life? What moves you-your feelings and desires (carnal mind), or the Word and God’s will (spiritual mind)?


Ask the Lord to help renew your mind, to escape the snares of the carnal mind, and instead reap the fruits of the spiritual mind.


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