Renewing Your Mind

If you are a sports fan, you have likely witnessed a team that played poorly in the first half of a game and then came back and played a great second half.  The team had the same players, opponent, rules and conditions, yet their performance was significantly improved. So, what was the difference?  Was it a halftime motivational speech by the coach or a new strategy?  While speeches and strategies can be catalysts for better performance, the ultimate factor behind the improved effort and performance was a change in the players’ mindset. Henry Ford understood this concept when he said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” No matter if you are playing sports or just walking through the seasons of life, your mind is a powerful influencer on your decisions and behavior.

If you are like me, there have been times in your life when were stuck in a funk.  Your attitude and general mentation became negative, and you lacked enthusiasm to keep going in a positive direction.  Our thought processes steer us to certain behaviors.  Romans 12:2 says, “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.” It is encouraging to be reminded that God’s desire for us is to live a life that is good, pleasing and perfect.  His plan for our life greatly depends on our willingness to follow Him.  Romans 12 makes it clear, if we want to learn and experience God’s perfect plan for us, then we will not copy the bad behaviors and customs of the world around us. Most understand this verse to describe the transformation that should occur when you first start your relationship with God.  While this is true, the renewing process does not stop there.   There is an ongoing renewal of our mind that should occur as we mature in our relationship with God.

It is important for us to understand that we all have a sinful nature that can influence us negatively.  That is why it is so easy for us to fall into the same negative mentality as the world around us.  Romans 8:5-6 says, “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So, letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”  If you are around people enough, you will notice, in every group, there seem to be at least a few that are constantly focused on the negative things and complain often.  This mindset can be infectious and impact the overall culture of the organization.   We all have the responsibility to be mindful of the environment that we put ourselves in and who we allow to influence our thinking.  It is inevitable that we will have to work with and interact with those that have yet to figure out the answer to a healthy mindset.  However, it is our responsibility to focus our mind on the things that encourage life and peace.

The brain is a powerful organ that can impact our health both mentally and physically.  Is it time to renew your mind and focus on the things that will produce life and peace? Are you in a funk and need a breakthrough?  Take the time to evaluate your thoughts, as well as, the thoughts of those you allow to influence you.

What is needed more than ever are people that are committed to remaining alert and oriented to the person God says you are, the place that God wants you to be, and God’s timing for everything.

Challenge:  Focus your mind on the things that produce life and peace. Don’t be influenced by the negativity around you. Recognize when it is time to mature your relationship with God by renewing your mindset.