Renewing our Minds Creates Transformation
Have you ever let your thoughts get the best of you?
If we want to experience transformation we need to mind our minds. You cannot change anything unless you change your thinking. Where our thoughts go, our lives will follow. What we believe determines how we live! And the Bible has a lot to say about our minds and mindsets! So we know it must be important if it is important to God.
Ephesians 4:23: Be made new in the attitude of your mind.
Romans 12:2a: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
As we mature as followers of Jesus we have to develop disciplined thought lives. The first step is to develop awareness of our thoughts so we can start the process of bringing our thoughts into captivity to Christ. Most often we just let our thoughts run wild and we ruminate rather than stop to examine what we are thinking and ask, “Is this thought true? Does this thought align with God’s Word—the truth of who he says he is, what he says about me or how he sees this person or situation?”
What thoughts are we dwelling on? Our thoughts are influenced by what we allow in and focus on. Mind your mind by being aware of what you are putting in it. What music are you listening to, people are you hanging out with, what social media are you scrolling through or Netflix series are you binging on? Are we spending more time dwelling on the things of the world or God’s Word?
As we strive to be aware of our thoughts check in with the emotions you are experiencing. Our emotions are indicators like the check engine light in your car. Your feelings are an indicator to check in with your thoughts. What thought are you dwelling on that keeps you in an unproductive, unhealthy cycle? Our thoughts produce feelings and our feelings produce behaviors.
Over time, when we actively mind our mind and choose which thoughts to dwell on, holding them captive, making them obedient to Christ, our brains will be trained to think on the thoughts that are helpful rather than the ones that are defeating and destructive. We will be transformed by the renewing of our mind.
This is more than positive thinking it is biblical thinking. We see this in the letter Paul the Apostle wrote to the Philippians as he makes this appeal to followers of Jesus. Friends …whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. ……think about such things.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
Try it! Next time you are having a thought that is destructive, depressing or just all around not helpful, choose a new thought that thinks the best not the worst. Redirect your focus and see what happens.