In short, if we want to change our life, we must change the way we think. 

Read: Romans 12:1-3

Ask Yourself & Journal:

•  According to Romans 12:2, how does true transformation occur?

This was my favorite passage for many years, but I kind of learned a skewed perspective of Roman 12, but I won’t elaborate on that just yet.  We are transformed by the renewing of our minds.  The process of unlearning my thought and behavioral patterns and learning  God’s thoughts for me, and allow my behavior to reflect what I am learning.

•  Is there an area in your life in which you need to renew, or “wash”, your mind with the word of God?

Currently, it’s in the way I view God and in the level of trust I have in him.  I am unlearning the earthly image of my father and learning (renewing) the image of my heavenly father: God as my father and provider.  I say as a father because I don’t really know what a father-daughter relationship is supposed to be like and to be honest, most days I don’t really feel like I need one.  As my provider, it directly ties into knowing fathers provide for their children and they provide good things for them.  I didn’t have that kind of provider in my life and this is why my mind needs constant reminders that my God is good.  He wants to father me and provide for me and I look forward to the day I fully trust Him in these areas. 

•  Can you identify any areas in your life in which you changed your behavior but not the way you thought about your behavior?  If so, did you find that you eventually relapsed?

As I mentioned on question one, I was very enthusiastic about becoming a Godly woman.  I was 16 and ready to renew my life.  In my passionate efforts to practice the “do not be conformed by the patterns of this world” part,  I was neglecting the “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” part.  The word transform can mean many different things to many different people.  To me it meant radical change and improvement.  I changed my appearance and actions in efforts to be transformed, because  I did not want to be like “the world.”  I adapted my behavior to mirror the people around me.  This led  me to an exhausting 7 years of my life “being transformed” but it felt more like being religious.  I immediately dumped my boyfriend (he was worldly).  I took down all my boy band posters, (I am still an undying Justin Timberlake fan), changed my wardrobe and stopped cursing (out loud).  My biggest challenge was giving up high school dance team and my passion for dancing because I was told it was ungodly.  (I wanted to major in Dance and Journalism).  I’ve learned that external behavior modification will fail you because your heart is simply not in it.  No matter how many pretty skirts I wore (below the knee of course), or how gifted I was at “doing something” for the Lord, I still did not feel transformed.  I spent years working in the ministry learning what it meant to be a Godly woman and the more I changed myself the more exhausted I felt.  Transformation did not begin to happen in my life until I understood the story of the gospel.  The story of God redeeming me to Himself.

•  What can you do today to begin to renew your mind?

As I mentioned in question one, allowing the process of unlearning my thought and behavioral patterns and learning God’s thoughts for me in my daily life.  I’ve lived through days when I was experiencing conflict because my mind did not want to submit to God’s understanding.  The beautiful thing about this is that I can trust God to love me through the process and to know I do not disappoint him in my way of thinking.  He knows where I’m at in the process and I trust he is  the author and perfecter of our faith,  to complete the good work that he has started in our lives.

Listen & Pray: JESUS my RENEWER, my mind needs to be “washed” and renewed by You in order for my habits to be modified.  If I don’t allow you to give me a healthy mind-set, I’m only kidding myself if I think my actions alone are going to be able to keep up a healthy spiritual life.

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