Proverbs 4:23 “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” GNB
These are powerful words, read the verse again. Your life is shaped by your thoughts. What do you think about? Do you “mind your mind?”
Renewing your mind
The apostle Paul urges us that we are to renew our minds. You might be thinking that there is nothing wrong with the way you think now. Let us take a look at what he had to say on this:
Ephesians 4:23-27 “Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, 24 and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy. 25 No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ. 26 If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. 27 Don’t give the Devil a chance.” GNB
So we are to change our minds, if your thinking changes then your life changes. The old self is tainted with sin, and God wants to make us new and to do that He needs to change the way that we think.
Interestingly Paul ends this verse with the words, “do not give the devil a chance.” The devil has no power over us, it is only in the realm of our thoughts where we can choose to give our power to him and allow him to control our lives.
Romans 12:1-2 “So then, my friends, because of God’s great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. 2 Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.” GNB
God wants to transform your life. The word transform here is the word for metamorphosis. The same way in which an ugly caterpillar is transformed into a beautiful butterfly, the same way God wants to transform us and to do this He needs to change our minds.
This is a process, I first heard of this concept about ten years ago and I still have to every day renew my mind. Your mind is like a garden and whatever you plant in it, will grow there. So if you feed it on negativity then depression, anger, jealousy are sure to sprout. But if you feed it the Word of God – it will be a place of joy and peace.
We start to think differently about things. Things that we consider as good or bad change as God’s Spirit works in our lives.
The world has certain standards, what it considers “right” and “wrong” for example: drinking beer is fine, but drugs are dangerous. Dangerous, but not wrong. Here we need to consider what the Bible says, our bodies are the temple of God and as such anything that will damage your body is wrong (1 Corinthians 6:19).
The end goal is not behaviour modification. Behaviour is an outward thing – which happens because of the way we think. For a short period of time is is possible to change what we do, without changing what we think and believe. However, true and long term change can only happen if our minds are regenerated and renewed with the Word of God.
This is where self help books fail, telling someone to be more positive without giving them a foundation to build on is not going to work. There is nothing to keep you positive when things start going wrong. This is where faith comes in as we can quote Scripture and call on the Name of the Lord to help us during difficult times.
- Your life is shaped by your _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
- I need to mind my _ _ _ _
- God wants to _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ my life
- Your mind is a _ _ _ _ _ _
- Name two things that stood out for you
- Which is better, faith or self help books? Why?