Growing up, I always heard phrases like, “mind over matter,” and “your attitude changes everything.” My teachers or parents often told me this when it was time to look on the bright side and stop complaining.
Is there any truth to these catchy phrases? What do you think?
My rebellious child-mind wants to yell, “NOOOO,” but my experience and gut both say yes. Not only that, but it seems the Bible has something to say about this too, in Romans 12:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
Read it again here in the New Living Translation:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)
Not only does it seem God’s word affirms those catchy sayings, but it ups the ante to complete life transformation, extending to becoming a new person! I don’t know about you, but I know and recognize a person by their actions and how I feel when I am around them. So this is not just saying you will feel like a new person in your thoughts, but changing your thoughts will transform how you interact with God, others, and yourself!
Transforming your life starts with renewing your mind!
Well, how are we supposed to take a 3-word catchy phrase and apply it to our lives? How do we renew our minds? Well, it is not just about your conscious thoughts – the ones you think when you are thinking about it. It is about your unconscious ones and what it is motivating your thoughts – we will call these your thought patterns. Renewing your mind has two steps:
Forming new thought patterns, based on the truth found in God’s word.
Ridding of old thought patterns, ones that do not line up with the truth.
Take some time to sit down and identify lies you believe, some of the old thought patterns. Write these down, and even invite the Lord to highlight thought patterns and lies to you. Though our mind may “know” something is not true, it does not necessarily stop is from taking root, feeling true, and affecting how we interact with ourselves, God, and others.
Next, find the truth in scripture, where we can create a new thought pattern. You can look for scriptures that directly contradict the lies you have identified. Invite the Lord into this process too. Write these out for easy access, maybe on an index card.
Lastly, read these scriptures out loud daily, or whenever you recognize your mind is circling on an old thought pattern. At first, what you are saying may not immediately feel true, but over time this practice will start to align, not just your mind, but also your feelings, with the word of God!
Like this old quote says…
“Watch your thoughts; they become your words.
Watch your words; they become your actions.
Watch your actions; they become your habits.
Watch your habits; they become your character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
Taking time to renew your mind and change your thoughts is taking time to transform.
Mercy Multiplied is a nonprofit Christian organization that equips people to live free and stay free through Jesus Christ. To learn more about our free-of-charge residential counseling program and Outreach Services visit our website at MercyMultiplied.com.